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Celtic signing this 30-year-old Crystal Palace star would be a timely boost for Lennon

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - OCTOBER 08: James McCarthy of Ireland runs with the ball during the UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Semi-Final match between Slovakia and Republic of Ireland at Tehelne pole on October 08, 2020 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Why Celtic should sign Crystal Palace star James McCarthy

According to Eurosport (h/t The Sun), Celtic are working on a plan to bring Crystal Palace star and boyhood Hoops fan James McCarthy to the club. There is interest from the player as well, who has played a limited role at Crystal Palace this season. Celtic are of the belief that a signing like McCarthy could boost their side in a bid to close down the gap on Rangers.

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McCarthy, 30, came through the youth ranks of Celtic and Hamilton Academical before joining Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2009. After making 133 appearances in four seasons with the Latics, he was signed by Everton. He was a crucial member of the squad but since the 2017/18 season, the Scotsman has struggled with injuries. He was sold to Crystal Palace last summer.

Last season, he managed to make 33 league appearances after returning from injury. He has also made 42 appearances for the Republic of Ireland so far and has immense experience in English football.

Crystal Palace’s Scottish-born Irish midfielder James McCarthy (L) passes the ball away from Burnley’s Dutch defender Erik Pieters during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park in south London on June 29, 2020 (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

McCarthy can add quality and depth to Celtic

Celtic’s stranglehold on the domestic throne in Scotland finally seems to be coming to an end. Old Firm rivals Rangers have cashed in on the Hoops’ dip in form to storm to a heavy lead atop the Scottish Premiership standings, although Neil Lennon’s side have games in hand. There’s still a long way to go in the season but Rangers are certainly the hot favourites to win the league title for the first time in ten years.

Celtic started the season on a promising note but have seen things fall apart in recent months, largely due to injuries and loss of form. It goes without saying that Lennon has plenty of food for thought heading into the mid-season trading period.

Signing McCarthy would be a wise decision by the club. The former Scottish international has made over 400 career appearances and his experience could come in handy for the manager. He may not have played enough during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns but he was a key figure for the Eagles last term.

James McCarthy (Image credit: Google)

His inclusion would definitely bring healthy competition within the squad, whilst also adding some much-needed depth. McCarthy is capable of operating from a deeper role as well as in an advanced position. His presence would be useful for Celtic.

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At 30, McCarthy has a few more years left to play at a high level. At the same time, Celtic need to bolster their midfield if they are to perform with consistency going forward. The former Wigan man’s experience would definitely help them in various ways.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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