Aston Villa dodged a major bullet in the summer by not signing Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy.
The Daily Mail had suggested back in August that Villa were lining up a £5m move for the Republic of Ireland international, with the club keen to take advantage of the fact that he has just one year left on his contract.
The report added that Dean Smith’s side were relaxing their policy on only buying players under the age of 28, and that as they felt they lacked some experience during their relegation dogfight, they saw McCarthy as someone who fit the bill to a tee.
Whilst the 29-year-old McCarthy does have plenty of Premier League experience in his time with Wigan, Everton and Crystal Palace, his record with injuries just wouldn’t have made this a sensible move at all.
He has a history of significant hamstring injuries, and it’s difficult to see which player in the Villa midfield he would actually take the place of when it comes down to it.
Add to that his reported £50k-a-week wages at Selhurst Park, and it would have been a nightmare move for Villa. They would have got an ageing midfielder, with injury troubles and on big money. Not the greatest of combinations.
Speaking after a EURO 2016 qualifier, former Manchester United midfielder Eamon Dunphy slammed the Irishman for his display, saying: “McCarthy is just a talking horse. Horses who are supposed to do great things on the gallops every morning but never produce it on the racecourse. This guy never produces a real performance for Ireland and he rarely produces it for Everton. He’s just no good.”
Villa dodged a bullet with the holding midfielder in the summer.
And in other news, Villa may come to regret missing out on this EFL star.