After four years at the club, Wigan Athletic prodigy, James McCarthy moved to pastures new on transfer deadline day when the Latics accepted a £14million bid from Everton for the Republic of Ireland international.
McCarthy joined the Latics in the summer of 2009 as an exciting, but raw talent, he had come through the system at Scottish club Hamilton Academicals, making his league debut at the tender age of 15, going on to star in the Accies rise to the Scottish Premier League making 95 appearances in three seasons and he won the Scottish Football young player of the year award in 2009
15 year old McCarthy makes his Hamilton debut
Although he made his Latics debut in the August of 2009, when he appeared as a late substitute in a Premier League defeat to Manchester United, it wasn’t until the turn of the year that he truly broke into the starting eleven, but once there he stayed there, making 120 appearances in the four seasons he was at the DW Stadium, incredibly McCarthy has already clocked up 215 club appearances and gained 16 international caps and he is still only 22 years of age
A main stay of the Latics midfield the Glasgow born Irishman had some fantastic games against world class opponents and at times he was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch. Overshadowing illustrious players, Yaya Toure, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard et al, McCarthy oozed class every time he stepped on to the pitch. McCarthy is blessed with a very good passing range and good engine, but more importantly he has a fantastic football brain and reads the game extremely well
For a player of such a young age thrust into the Premier League, he was just 18 when he made his Latics debut, you could excuse him of the odd bout of petulance, but not a sign of it from the young man, if he oozes class on the pitch, off it he is simply a model professional, very quietly going about his business, conducting himself in a manner befitting a true role model, McCarthy is a credit to his profession, his family but most of all himself
It was a very sad losing James McCarthy to Everton, but in fairness he was just too good for the Championship and needs to be playing with and against top class players to keep his development going, McCarthy has given me some great memories of a top quality player and he was instrumental, along with his team mates on the 11th May 2013, of quite possibly the greatest achievement in our clubs history and providing me with the best day of my life when we won the FA cup
A great player and all I can do is wish James McCarthy all the best on his future career, which I look forward to following with some pride.
Tara James and good luck
Thanks for the memories