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July 17, 2024

Home of Crystal Palace F.C

Home of Crystal Palace F.C

Crystal Palace lose midfielder enforcer James McCarthy to boyhood heroes

3 min read

For Crystal Palace fans, it was obvious that this summer was going to be one of the major changes. A host of contracts, both loan and permanent, were up. So, too, was the tenure of local boy done good Roy Hodgson. It left the Palace board with a huge amount of work to be done, and this has seen around eleven players depart leaving the team with a very thin squad. One player that was expected to be retained, though, was Scottish-born Irish international James McCarthy.

The 30-year-old has been a reliable presence in midfield for the club since he arrived two years ago. However, his deal expired and the club were hopeful of bringing him back for another run at it. However, the allure of signing for boyhood club Glasgow Celtic was too much to ignore. Instead, the player has agreed on a 4-year term with the Bhoys and will play a key role in their chase to win back the league title they lose to Rangers last season.

Seen as player fans would like to have seen come back for another run at it, the promise of a key role in a new-look Celtic team seems to have won McCarthy over. At 16, he was a regular for Hamilton Academical and was even close to a £1m move to Celtic as far back as when Tony Mowbray managed the Hoops; instead, he came to England with Wigan Athletic, carving out an excellent career down south.

Speaking about the move to Celtic, McCarthy told the official Celtic website: “To have signed for Celtic is a brilliant feeling and this is a special day for me and my family.

“I know all about the club, the size of it, and all the success it’s enjoyed, particularly in recent years. I’m looking forward to pulling on the Hoops, playing at Paradise, and helping the team deliver more success to these amazing fans in the seasons ahead.”

Will Palace sign a replacement?

Arguably, his replacement is already in the door in the form of Conor Gallagher. Some fans are happy to see a change, though, with a rather veteran-heavy Palace side in need of an injection of youth this summer. However, given the player was grabbed as a cut-price squad option, it would be fair to say that McCarthy has lived up to his end of the bargain.

In 52 appearances for Palace since arriving from Everton in 2019, McCarthy was well-regarded by fans who seen him as an intelligent, tidy, hard-working midfield presence. Though he never became a regular starter under Hodgson, McCarthy was a relative favorite with some fans.

With a bit of a rebirth taking place at the club, many expect McCarthy to be just one of many players who are going to be in need of replacing this summer. Expect more transfers to come, but the end of the player’s tenure in South London has been confirmed as he heads back to the city of his birth, and the team of his heart.

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