JAMES MCCARTHY STILL looked a touch dazzled in the deadline day headlights when he sat down for his first interview as an Everton player. The midfielder, snapped up from Wigan Athletic for £13m, was one of the last players to see his deal go through on a frantic day of wheeling and dealing.
McCarthy was signed along with Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry before the 11pm closure of the transfer window. Roberto Martinez and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright emerged as one of the day’s big winners and McCarthy was delighted to be taken along for the ride.
“To be honest I am over the moon,” he told the club website. “The last few hours [were] nerve-racking and I am delighted to be here.”
McCarthy revealed that ‘there was no going back’ once he became aware of the Premier League side’s interest. The deal was only pushed through after Manchester United stumped up £27.5m for former Toffees midfielder Marouane Fellaini, leaving McCarthy on tenterhooks. Now that the deal has been approved, the Republic of Ireland international is pleased to be re-united with Martinez, his boss at the Latics last season.
“I worked under the manager for four years at Wigan,” he said, “they were four brilliant years. I loved every minute of that. I know some of the boys who are here so it was a no-brainer to be honest.”
McCarthy revealed that Martinez has told him that hard work will be required to break into the team as no starting roles are guaranteed. The €13m transfer fee is not an immunity card for the 22-year-old but he insists he prefers it that way.
“There’s a lot of big transfers going on at the moment and I’ll just have to put up with [my fee] but I believe in my ability and will give it my best shot,” he said.
‘Seamy’ Coleman will give McCarthy an unofficial welcome on behalf of Everton before the midfielder links up with his new teammates, next week. The new signing will hope that, with tough games coming up against Sweden and Austria, World Cup qualification will prove a pleasant distraction rather than a memory.