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Biggest gamble? – Here’s why Newcastle are better off without signing this 28-year-old from rival PL club

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Newcastle United Opinion: Signing James McCarthy would be too big a gamble for the Magpies

According to Chronicle Live, Newcastle United are interested in signing Everton midfielder James McCarthy in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that manager Rafael Benitez is a big admirer of the 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international.

Chronicle Live understands that the Magpies are on the verge of a takeover by UAE’s Bin Zayed Group and current owner Mike Ashley is open to selling the club.

The news of the club’s takeover by the Arabian multi-billionaire group is bound to please the fans at Tyneside and it might as well resolve the future of Benitez at St.James’ Park, with the Spaniard’s current contract set to expire at the end of June.

Besides the potential takeover, Newcastle have plenty of issues to sort out ahead of the upcoming season, with question marks lingering over the futures of several of the first-team players. The takeover by the Bin Zayed Group is likely to enrich the club’s financial resources, which could help them fund a permanent move for West Brom loanee Salomon Rondon.

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However, the Magpies also need to sort out their central midfield conundrum, with the futures of Isaac Hayden and Mo Diame still very much up in the air.

Hayden played a key role for the club in the middle of the park this season and was one of their standout performers in the Premier League, meaning that Newcastle would be under pressure to bring in a like-for-like replacement.

Earlier in the month, Chronicle Live reported that Diame is also likely to head for the exit door at Tyneside after the club turned down his request for a new two-year deal. Also, Jonjo Shelvey is unsettled at the club after struggling for form and fitness this past season, although the former Liverpool man is still determined to fight for his place. (h/t Shields Gazette)

As things stand, Newcastle need to find an experienced central midfielder to partner this season’s breakout star Sean Longstaff in the Premier League next term. They can, indeed, rely on the services of Ki-Sung Yueng but the Korean is already on the other side of 30 and it won’t be a bad idea to bring in some fresh faces to add depth to a key area of the pitch.

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To put things into perspective, Everton’s James McCarthy certainly looks like a good fit for Newcastle and a quick one-step solution to their imminent central midfield crisis. However, the main question here is- Would it be a wise decision for the Magpies to invest in a player who has just started 10 Premier League games over the course of the last three seasons?

Well, the answer to that would be ‘No’. McCarthy is already 28 and he has already had large chunks of his prime years blighted by several long-term injuries. The Irishman was regarded as one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League four or five years ago but recurrent injuries have transformed him into a bit of a forgotten figure at Goodison Park.

Furthermore, McCarthy doesn’t exactly fit the profile of players that Newcastle usually look to target in the transfer window. Given that he has a contract with Everton until 2020, Newcastle would need to shell out a sizeable fee to get him on board this summer. Also, McCarthy is 28, so the Magpies would hardly have a chance to recoup the money that they spend to bring him to the club.

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With all due respect to McCarthy’s abilities as a player, it would be a big gamble for Newcastle to invest in the 28-year-old, given his struggles with injuries and lack of playtime in the recent past.

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There is a lot of doubt whether or not the Irishman would be able to relive his past form and Newcastle would be better off looking at other options if they are really serious about strengthening their central midfield.


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