Crystal Palace are expected to hand key midfielder James McArthur a new contract following his impressive performances this season, according to journalist Tom Barclay.
The 34-year-old’s current deal is set to expire next summer, meaning he would become a free agent at the end of June.
However, following a string of standout performances in Palace’s engine room in the opening weeks of 2021/22, Barclay believes new manager Patrick Vieira will sanction an offer of fresh terms over the coming months.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “He won’t get the assists, he won’t score the goals, he won’t do those raking passes here and there – that highlights reel kind of player. But, there’s a reason why Vieira likes him so much, and why he’s so effective in this team.”
Barclay added: “I probably expect them, despite being 34, to give him a new contract and keep him next season.”
McArthur has been with the capital club since 2014 following his arrival from Wigan Atheltic and could extend his stay into an eighth year if he puts pen to paper on a new contract.
Despite the fact that the former Scotland international is set to turn 35 next October, Palace fans will still be delighted at Barclay’s latest revelation, given his importance to Vieira’s charges.
As per WhoScored, McArthur has averaged 2.3 tackles per Premier League fixture this season, 1.2 interceptions and 1.8 defensive dribbles, placing him in the top-four amongst his teammates for each metric.
His eye-catching displays in the middle of the park have caught the attention of several impressed onlookers, including his manager.
“He is valuable, he’s our captain, and so he has a responsibility to bring his leadership to the squad,” said Vieira after their recent victory over Wolves.
“He’s a fighter, he’s a warrior, he’s the benchmark for a professional. This is the same in training, he is no different.”
Injury kept McArthur out of Palace’s 3-3 draw with Burnley last time out, but the box-to-box dynamo had started every top-flight fixture prior to his fitness concerns, skippering the side on six occasions.
Therefore, news that a fresh deal could be on the horizon will please Vieira and the south London outfit’s supporters alike, providing some stability throughout the club’s transitional period.