Livingston coach Marvin Bartley "really excited" to see Celtic capture James McCarthy

By David Walton

August 4, 2021

Livingston assistant coach Marvin Bartley has admitted that he’s really excited to see what James McCarthy will bring to Celtic.

The Hoops announced that McCarthy had joined the club on a four-year contract yesterday in a joint-statement confirming the arrival of Joe Hart alongside him.

McCarthy’s arrival adds much-needed experience into the central midfield position. However, it also adds quality and depth after the departure of Olivier Ntcham earlier this week.

And Bartley believes Celtic have pulled off a masterstroke in securing the Republic of Ireland veteran.

Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show, Bartley said: “Fantastic signings, top signings. McCarthy I’m really excited about. Davie [Provan] spoke earlier about his injury problems and hopefully, he is over them so we can see the best of him.

“I think him in there with Callum McGregor, Turnbull, Rogic, Soro, whoever plays with those two, I think he’s going to make a big difference. I really, really do.

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“I think he’s a top quality signing and exactly what Celtic need at this moment in time.”

James McCarthy has plenty to prove at Celtic Park

Everything about this move just feels right. McCarthy and Celtic have been linked with each other for what feels like every year since he left Hamilton for England in 2009.

Since then, he’s gone on to make over 270 EPL appearances and 42 international outings [Transfermarkt]. In other words, he’s been a mainstay down south and arrives back in Scotland an experienced veteran.

Celtic were in desperate need of another central-midfielder. An injection of quality that they simply didn’t have. McCarthy solves that issue and then some.

However, there will be major question marks over his fitness levels. The Irishman has suffered substantial injury setbacks in recent years. It’s fair to say he comes up with plenty to prove on that front.

Nobody can deny the quality of McCarthy. But whether he can prove to be a mainstay in the Celtic midfield and fend off injuries remains to be seen. If he can, he’ll be a top signing for the football club.

For now, however, Celtic fans should be allowed to joy some big names coming into the club. All eyes will now be on the impact McCarthy and Hart can make.

In other news, Celtic boss says final decision on Joe Hart debut vs Jablonec will be made today

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