Tottenham are understood to be interested in bringing Everton’s James McCarthy to White Hart Lane in a player-plus-cash deal worth £20m.
Tottenham have reportedly admitted defeat in their attempts to land Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and the Republic of Ireland star is now their preferred target.
Former Wigan and Hamilton Academicals midfielder McCarthy is currently 3/1 to have swapped Goodison Park for north London by the close of the transfer window.
If the situation has a silver lining for Toffees fans then it may well lie in the fact that Goal.com, the source from which they latest wave of rumour emanates, suggest:
“Spurs have a number of squad players they are understood to be happy to include in any deal that would see McCarthy move to White Hart Lane.”
Less encouragingly they report:
“Centre-back and club captain Younes Kaboul and long-serving winger Aaron Lennon would appeal most to Everton.”
McCarthy is Everton’s midfield MVP (they have won once in 15 games without him in the starting line-up this season).
Surely the only sensible thing to do in light of Tottenham’s ‘player-plus-cash’ advances is to take the opportunity to pinch one of their under used centre-midfielders in order not to leave a glaring hole in Roberto Martinez’s squad?
The graphic above illustrates some of the quantifiable aspects of the flame-haired workhorse’s average output per 90 minutes this season.
But which potentially available Tottenham midfielder would best replace the Irishman’s contribution?
Belgium international Mousa Dembele’s statistics bear arguably the closest resemblance to those of McCarthy, with the major difference that he more regularly plays key passes.
Averaging more passes per game at a better rate of completion, he could prove an upgrade from a creative point of view.
Likewise his imperturbable dribbling may well provide the Toffees with something new and exciting in the middle of the park.
With Gareth Barry and Muhamed Besic the present and future in the out-and-out holding role of Martinez’s 4-2-3-1 there would be comparatively little to gain from luring the Etienne Capoue to Merseyside for all his numbers are impressive.