West Ham United received a late Christmas present shortly before the New Year as the club confirmed Declan Rice had agreed to sign a new contract with the club, but that decision has not prevented them from expressing an interest in central midfield players this month.
Indeed, with Jack Wilshere continuing to prove his unreliability with regards to his fitness, Manuel Lanzini still pushing for an eagerly anticipated return and Carlos Sanchez also sidelined, Manuel Pellegrini is on the hunt for a new central midfielder.
Besiktas’ Gary Medel has been widely touted as a potential January signing for the Hammers, but a recent report from the Daily Mail claims they are also considering a move for Everton’s James McCarthy.
The report reveals West Ham are interested in a loan deal for the 41-cap Republic of Ireland international, but they will face competition from Fulham and West Brom in the race for his signature.
In terms of ability, functionality and Premier League experience, McCarthy ticks all the boxes. His energy in the middle of the park would add a new dimension to Pellegrini’s midfield and reduce the strain on the club’s limited resources in that area, but there is plenty of reason to suggest a deal is ill-advised at this moment in time.
McCarthy has not completed 90 minutes of Premier League football since December 12th 2016, with various injury problems, including a double leg-break most recently, leaving him sidelined for the most part in the two years which have followed.
His lack of first-team football is clearly a huge concern worth bearing in mind for any interested party, and until he has built up his match sharpness once again, West Ham would be wise to consider alternative options.
When the summer window arrives McCarthy may well have been given ample playing time to re-establish himself and prove his fitness, and six months down the line he should represent a markedly more appealing transfer prospect.
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