Carragher: ‘If I could take one player from Everton to Liverpool, I’d take James McCarthy’

Carragher: ‘If I could take one player from Everton to Liverpool, I’d take James McCarthy’

Jamie carragher has told James McCarthy that he needs to start scoring goals if he wants to take his game to the next level.

Goal-shy McCarthy scored in Everton’s 3-0 win at Newcastle last weekend, but it’s only his second in the Premier League in more than 50 games for the Toffees.

Carragher is a huge fan of the Ireland international and described him as a “complete midfielder”, but he believes his lack of firepower is a weak spot.

He hopes that McCarthy can follow the example set by Jordan Henderson who has exploded to life this season with five goals and seven assists in the league for Liverpool.

“I love McCarthy. I think he’s a brilliant player,” Carragher said in Dublin this week.

“If there was one player I could take from Everton to Liverpool it would be James McCarthy. I think he’s just got to add goals.

“I think Jordan Henderson was maybe at that stage a year ago, where you really like what you see but there could be a few more goals or assists to take him up another level.

Even though James McCarthy plays a more defensive role, he’s shown he can get forward. He’s a complete midfield player – he works hard, he can tackle, he can pass. I think eventually he’ll be the captain there.

After struggling with injuries which saw him miss practically all of December and January, McCarthy appears to be returning to form — just in time for Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

While Everton have struggled this season, and still sit just six points above the relegation zone, he has proved himself to be indispensable when fit.

Carragher said: “I spoke to Roberto Martinez about two months ago about the bad run and he said, ‘There’s only one player we can’t replace in the squad and that’s James McCarthy.’ No other player in the squad gives them what he gives them.

“I’ve highlighted him plenty of times on MNF, the work he does and the cover he gives Seamus Coleman. Seamus Coleman likes to bomb forward and the work McCarthy does for him getting back, he allows that.

“I’m sure that’s something they want to do in the Ireland team as well.”

He added: “I think him and Gareth Barry do so much work for the full-backs – Leighton Baines on one side, Coleman on the other. They’re always filling in whey they go forward.

“So James McCarthy spends half his time at right back when I watch Everton, and that’s not a criticism, I think that’s a tactical thing from Roberto Martinez.

I’d class Henderson now as one of the top midfielders in the country – with the goals and assists he’s getting – and James McCarthy, if he could add more goals, I think I’d be saying the same about him.

“I love him as a player, love watching him, but I think to be classed as one of the best in the league he probably needs to add a few more goals and assists to his game.

“But that may come with maybe being a bit more adventurous if Roberto Martinez allows that or wants that.”

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