James McCarthy played well as Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Norwich City on New Year’s Day.
The midfielder started alongside James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic in central midfield and turned in a tidy performance.
Per WhoScored, he had 60 touches of the ball and was the archetypal box-to-box midfielder at Carrow Road.
He chalked up a passing accuracy of 83%, from a total of 46 passes, of which two were key passes.
Did he really play for us?! No Palace fan has managed to name all of these obscure Eagles signings….
He also completed one dribble and won two aerial duels in the centre of the pitch.
Impressively, McCarthy also won all five of the tackles he attempted, along with one interception.
The 29-year-old was dispossessed once but this was a very solid showing from the Republic of Ireland international.
McCarthy showed against Norwich that he can be a more important part of Hodgson’s squad going forward. He has made 17 appearances in all competitions but just four of those were starts.
Although that may well be linked to his horrendous injury history, that needs to change.
He showed on Wednesday that he is the perfect all-action midfielder who can take part in all aspects of the game.
While McCarthy can win the ball back, he can also distribute it effectively and win it in the air.
As 2020 rolls on, he ought to become a prominent component of the Eagles’ starting XI.
Meanwhile, Palace could be set to splash the cash.