Crystal Palace star James McCarthy has apparently been bigging his love for Celtic up in Palace’s match programme this week.

The Premier League club lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City last night. The contest was a bit of a mismatch, with McCarthy ending the game as an unused substitute. He’s been in and out of the Palace team so far this season, and is finding consistent starts hard to come by.

Celtic were once linked with a move for McCarthy just after Tony Mowbray’s appointment in 2009. However, the Hoops decided against the deal after seeing their advances rebuffed (BBC). The Republic of Ireland international ended up signing for Wigan Athletic.


James McCarthy grew up a big Celtic fan (Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

McCarthy has since played for Everton for six years before moving to Palace. And, according to Football.London, he had this to say in Palace’s match programme about the Hoops.

“Early football for me was always playing as a kid. I’ve always been a Celtic fan; all my family are Celtic fans. From when I was born, I’ve had the Celtic strips. Obviously as a kid, you’re always watching. We’d go and watch the games. My brothers used to take me.

“I went to quite a lot of them [Old Firm derbies]. I was younger, maybe eight or nine. I’d always be at the game. It’s an amazing atmosphere, an incredible atmosphere and one that you really enjoy.

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“You always find you want to play in something like that. We’ve got good fans here [at Palace] and the noise at home is very good. It’s important and the fans travel well for away days.”

McCarthy can count as one that got away

There’s no denying that McCarthy could’ve done a real job in Glasgow. He’s a huge Celtic man, and would’ve run through brick walls for the club if he signed.

McCarthy could’ve been Celtic’s before he went to Wigan (AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

He may not be on the same level of calamitous mishaps as John McGinn. However, we could’ve ended up getting a fine talent for a small fee before we failed to take him from Hamilton.

Since then, he’s gone on to make a staggering 200-plus Premier League appearances. Granted, he never managed to make that step up to a top-class club. But McCarthy has done a job in England that suggests he could’ve been a hit here.

It’s not something that keeps fans awake at night. However, he was another there for the taking if we decided to go for him.

McCarthy signed for Palace in the summer (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Over the last few years, there have certainly been fleeting rumours about a potential move to Parkhead. But you have to consider his chances of playing for us before he hangs up his boots as doubtful.

McCarthy only just signed for Palace this summer. He’s there on a deal that could take him well into his 30s. Therefore, time is running out for a fairytale spell at Celtic Park.

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