McCarthy, 23, was Wigan's star player under Roberto Martinez, and followed the Spaniard from the DW Stadium when Martinez replaced David Moyes as Everton boss after the Scot moved to Manchester United. Moyes took midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Old Trafford with him, and McCarthy was signed in his place - only to perform better than the Belgian and win the hearts of the Everton faithful.
Alongside the experienced Gareth Barry, McCarthy had an excellent on Merseyside, and his impressive performances triggered reported interest from new manager Louis van Gaal - with McCarthy once again tipped to replace Fellaini, who could sign for Napoli this month.
Yet despite rumours of a £20m+ deal, the Republic of Ireland international says that he is settled on Merseyside - seemingly ending all hopes of a potential transfer.
"The size of the club meant there was always going to be pressure, but I’ve settled in and everyone made me feel so welcome," said McCarthy, having been asked to recall his move almost a year ago.
"I’m enjoying life here. I feel part of the family. It’s a real family club and it’s great to be involved in. It’s been a year since I came but it feels a lot longer than that."
With McCarthy all but declaring that his future lies with Everton, United may need to go back to the drawing board. Juventus' Arturo Vidal still appears to be the club's top target, but with an astronomical fee needed to prise the Chilean away from Italy, van Gaal is seeing his transfer options diminishing - which may be music to the ears of the likes of Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, and even Fellaini.