Everton 26-year-old faces uncertain future after latest Koeman comments
By Matt Farr
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has remained coy over the long-term future of James McCarthy at the club.
The Irish midfielder faces an uncertain future at Goodison Park, with Koeman refusing to name him as part of his long-term plans for the club.
McCarthy, 26, has been plagued by persistent hamstring trouble this season, and has been restricted to just four Premier League appearances. He has not featured since the 1-1 draw with Swansea on November 19.
When back to full fitness, the midfielder faces tough competition for a place in the first-team, and may struggle to usurp Koeman’s current preferred partnership of Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye.
Reports suggest that McCarthy is growing increasingly unsettled at Everton, and he may be looking for a new challenge in January.
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However, when asked about McCarthy’s role at the club, Koeman gave a reserved response.
“I don’t know. I did not speak with James about his situation,” he told the Daily Mail. “For a long time he wasn’t available for the team. Even last week he had only two training sessions and this week…yes, he did train and is available for the weekend.
“About the future of James, the future of other players, new players…that is not the focus I need to show at this moment.”
Koeman’s refusal to offer much of an answer in terms of McCarthy’s long-term future at the club may cause some concern, but the club have bigger problems at the moment.
Everton have won just one of their last nine games, and face a tough game against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Dutch boss has recently come under fire for his refusal to change Everton’s tactical approach, with the club having won just one of their last nine games.
Meanwhile, his comments suggesting star man Romelu Lukaku should leave the club have also been criticised by fans.
In other Everton news, Koeman wants to raid his former club to sign this star in January.