Teams urged to snap up Celtic struggler while they have the chance

By Dave Flanigan

August 4, 2022

Former Celtic defender Gary Caldwell has urged Scottish Premiership sides to snap up his former Wigan teammate James McCarthy, with the Irishman looking likely to leave the club this summer.

McCarthy signed a four-year contract with his boyhood club after over a decade in English football but has struggled for game-time with the Hoops, with his former skipper suggesting that several clubs would be interested in taking on the former Ireland international.

Speaking to The Scottish Sun, Caldwell said: “I think he’ll understand at 31 that he’s not going to be that same dynamic player. But the experience he’s gained over the years in England means he can still play at a high level for a number of years yet.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

“Any Premiership team in Scotland would be keen on taking him on as well as plenty of Championship clubs down south. If he’s still got the hunger you need to train and play every week then I believe he’s got plenty to offer yet.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of clubs who try to sign him if he becomes available.”

Caldwell insists that McCarthy will have loved being part of the success Celtic enjoyed last season, but that his priority will be securing regular first-team football.

“Every footballer wants to play,” Caldwell said. “I know James will have been delighted with the success Celtic had last season, even though he didn’t play as often as he would have liked.

“Whatever happens, he was part of the squad that won the league and one of the cups. Ultimately every player wants to play more than a handful of games every season, so I’m sure McCarthy will be weighing everything up.

“He’s at the club he supported as a boy, but it’s up to him to work out what his priority is now.”

McCarthy and Caldwell shared a dressing room for three years, so few will be more aware of the Irishman’s qualities than the former Partick Thistle manager.

The 31-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged career, visibly reducing his mobility, and he has struggled for game time at Celtic, sharing a position with the team’s talismanic captain Callum McGregor.

With the signing of Aaron Mooy pushing McCarthy further down the pecking order, it seems that a move away this summer would likely suit all parties.

In other news: The surprising Tom Rogic reports on next move after Celtic are days old and conflicting.