Celtic skipper Scott Brown is on the wrong side of 30 and won’t be around forever, but their reported move to find his successor could have Neil Lennon on the verge of one major mistake…
According to 90min, the Scottish giants have set their sights on Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy as the heir to the captain’s throne.
It’s claimed that the Hoops have concerns over the 35-year-old’s ability to see out the season and would like to recruit a replacement sooner rather than later.
McCarthy is their primary target with Brown’s contract set to expire in a year’s time.
Whilst it is a rather smart decision to try and find a new midfielder to take the legend’s reins, Nick Hammond could be on the wrong path with the 29-year-old Eagles ace.
Celtic are staring down at a historic season as they attempt to retain the Scottish Premiership for a tenth successive season and despite starting every match, Brown’s lack of mobility and pace has been a cause for concern.
But McCarthy shouldn’t be the man to take his position as he’s a pretty average midfielder. This season, the Irishman averaged 2.5 tackles, 0.5 key passes and 0.2 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
Since 2014 in the Premier League, he’s only provided a total of three assists, so it would be a rather baffling move. McCarthy only joined Selhurst Park last summer for £8.5m and is known to be a boyhood Celtic supporter.
Maybe the club should put more faith in Olivier Ntcham instead and save themselves a substantial eight-figure fee. The Bhoys midfielder is a wanted man in the PL, but at just 24, he would be the better long-term option in the role.
Dubbed a “class act” by Roy Hodgson, McCarthy must be avoided at least until the Frenchman is given a proper chance to impress at Celtic Park.
It could save the club millions in the transfer market, something that would be wise given the report claims the champions would need to sell before they buy.