Post by Everton News. on Jan 31, 2017 22:58:31 GMT
Koeman says James McCarthy is Part Of Everton Future
Manager Ronald Koeman says midfielder James McCarthy is fit and ready to show his quality after overcoming his early-season injury problems.
Hamstring and groin injuries sustained during the early months of the campaign have restricted the Republic of Ireland international to just 11 appearances so far this term.
But Blues boss Koeman believes the tough-tackling midfielder is ready to give him a selection headache, having worked hard to get back to peak fitness.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Stoke, the manager said: “James is at a really good fitness level and that makes him a better player than I saw in the beginning.
“I think at the beginning of the season he wasn’t fit and he had problems with his hamstrings.
“But I’m very pleased with his quality and how he’s involved in the team.”
With a rejuvenated McCarthy fit and ready to make his mark, January signing Morgan Schneiderlin pushing for his first start, and Idrissa Gueye set to come back into contention at the weekend following his exploits with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, Koeman admits he now has an abundance of riches at his disposal in a crucial area of the pitch – which also includes in-form Tom Davies.
Koeman added: “We need competition for places in the midfield, which is why there was no possibility of one of the midfielders going in the January window.
“Yes, Darron Gibson was allowed to leave because there was too much competition for him [to play regularly], but that’s not the case with James McCarthy.
“I think he’s a really good player and we need players like this for the future of Everton.”