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Brendan Rodgers explains the decision on Ange’s strangest signing

James McCarthy is expected to leave Celtic in the coming days.

The midfielder joined Celtic two years ago at the same time as Joe Hart with the expectation that EPL experience and know how would be invaluable to the side that Ange Postecoglou was building.

While Hart went from strength to strength things just never got started for McCarthy, a lifelong Celtic supporter who signed a four year contract.

The midfielder was given extra time to find his fitness but quickly looked like an awkward addition to the new look Celtic side.

Before joining Celtic McCarthy had started 10 EPL matches and came off the bench six times during the 20/21 Lockdown season but he is posed to leave Celtic with just four SPFL starts to his name.

It will have been a bitter-sweet experience for a fan to see success close up but unable to get involved and have an influencE.

Speaking to The Sun, Rodgers said:

It’s a real shame for James, because growing up he was obviously a Celtic supporter. I saw him a lot in the Premier League and he was a fantastic talent. He’s a great guy but sadly a few injuries and niggles have curtailed his time here so he will be looking to move on.

Like a few midfielders the writing was on the wall in January 2022 when Postecoglou brought in Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Matt O’Riley with two of those signings forming the backbone of the side for a season and a half.

McCarthy’s last action as a Celtic player was a 20 minute stint away to Motherwell in the League Cup last season, turning 33 in November his next move is unknown with retirement bound to be an option.

Slipping down the divisions or even going to St Mirren or Motherwell won’t lessen the physical demands, fir family reasons a move abroad is unlikely to hold much attraction.

McCarthy broke into the Hamilton team at the age of 15 and was soon attracting the racists over his decision to play internationally for Ireland.

It seems that Archie Know, then a development coach with the SFA, wasn’t a fan of McCarthy who was welcomed by the FAI and progressed through the youth sides without having his background questioned and sneered at.

In 27 Celtic appearances McCarthy leaves Celtic with far more medals that Ibrox Hall of Famer James Tavernier.

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1 Comment

  • by Captain Swing
    Posted August 21, 2023 9:09 am 0Likes

    Never seemed like Ange’s idea at all. Lots to suggest the signing was foisted on him. Ange likes an all-out attacking style with young, fast and above all mobile players. McCarthy didn’t appear to tick any of those boxes, so all along looked like somebody else’s idea – somebody who doesn’t know much bout fitba’.

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