Wigan youngster James McCarthy has emerged this season as one their star players, despite his mere 22-years, with Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea all reportedly interested in his services.
Whilst the media awaits news on the future of his manager Roberto Martinez, McCarthy may be pondering his own future, which, in all likelihood, will lie away from the DW Stadium.
His performances this season, having featured in all 38 Premier League games for Wigan this term, playing an incredible 3,374 minutes of football, have earned him a number of suitors and with his value set between £10-15 million the top clubs will likely all vying for his signature.
At present, the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool are all reportedly lining up bids for the youngster and with his manager likely to be heading in search of pastures new next season as the club embark on a Championship campaign, McCarthy would be advised to make his move now.
Obviously the wages available at Chelsea would be enticing for any 22-year-old with talent but, conversely, because of his talent, he might want to think twice about moving to Stamford Bridge where Frank Lampard, Ramires, Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, John Obi Mikel all compete for his position.
The likes of Marko Marin and Josh McEchran can’t get in the team and they haven’t even brought in new players like potentially Marouane Fellaini yet.
Much the same can be said of the Blues’ London rivals Arsenal who currently have Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky vying for three central midfield positions, never mind Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin.
In the long-run McCarthy is not going to want to compete with Wilshere and Ramsey for his place in the team and he’s not going to improve if he’s warming the bench.
The Gunners’ North London rivals also have a wealth of options competing for his position - Sandro, Lewis Holtby, Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Scott Parker, and Tom Huddlestone barely gets in as it is whilst Jake Livermore’s waiting for his chance to shine.
Liverpool may sound like a decent option where he could impress Brendan Rodgers often who places his in the club’s youth prospects but Steven Gerrard is still going strong, Joe Allen is improving, as is Jordan Henderson, Coutinho has just been brought in and looks to be a quality signing and Jonjo Shelvey is struggling to gain regular access to the first team.
The only club that James McCarthy should be considering leaving Wigan for is Manchester United – not even because they’re champions – but because they could actually use him, and likely would.
Paul Scholes’ retirement, along with the limited amount of action Ryan Giggs is up to along with the likelihood that Anderson definitely, Nani probably Wayne Rooney maybe will leave means new boss David Moyes is left with central midfield options of soon to be 32-year-old Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, and Shinji Kagawa with Nick Powell waiting on the periphery.
That is definitely an area Moyes will want to strengthen, and add depth and quality to this summer and, for £15 million maximum, he could have a read-made 22-year-old midfielder with the potential to become of the best in the country.
Equally, McCarthy couldn’t pick a better destination to learn from the likes of Scholes and Giggs and develop further his game, along with the kind of professional standards and expectations that a club like United instills in their players.
Where do you see McCarthy playing his football next season?
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