McCarthy: I hope McGeady makes Premier League
JAMES McCARTHY believes his Ireland teammate Aiden McGeady would be a great addition to the growing Irish colony at Everton.
It appears that McGeady has played his last game for Spartak Moscow after a falling out with manager Valeri Karpin, as the Russian club have placed him on the transfer list and forced him to train with the reserves.
The Spartak boss criticised McGeady in the aftermath of their defeat by local rivals CSKA Moscow last week and following the row, Karpin reacted by transfer-listing McGeady, who cost the Russian side €10million in 2010.
A move to England in the January transfer window is likely for the former Celtic man and Everton have been linked with McGeady before. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez previously tried to bring McGeady to Wigan.
Everton have three senior Ireland internationals in the first team squad (McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson), as well as current Ireland U21 captain Shane Duffy, and the signing of McGeady would give Everton an all-Irish five-a-side team.
"He's obviously a great player. He's been in the squads I've been. Day-to-day in training, you can see how much quality he brings to the team. He would be brilliant to have in the Premier League," said McCarthy of McGeady, admitting that the pair almost became teammates when McGeady came close to joining the Latics earlier this year.
"I think he just missed out. He had a couple of injuries last year and unfortunately it didn't happen. As it is just now, I'm not even sure, that's the first I've heard of Aiden having a fall-out with his manager."
McCarthy had a very busy international year in 2013, playing in 13 of the 14 senior games.
"The more games you play, the more settled you get," he said.
"I feel I've settled in now. I hope I can kick on, get as many caps as possible and keep getting a run in the international squads," he added, aware that Ireland need a lift after sliding to 67th place in the world rankings, an all-time low.
"You want to get get as high up in the rankings as possible. We all know as a group, as a unit, that we want to move forward now.
"Obviously the gaffer (Martin O'Neill) has come in and there's a new buzz around the place.
"Obviously Roy (Keane) coming in too, we want to try and kick up in the rankings and get to big competitions, European Championships, World Cups," added McCarthy, who can now focus on club duties as the next international is not until March.
There will be extra attention on him today as O'Neill and Keane plan to attend the Everton-Stoke game.
"Conceding so late in the game against Liverpool, we all know it's not good enough. Stoke at home is going to be a tough game," McCarthy said.
*James McCarthy (pictured above with Séamus Coleman) was speaking to launch the FAI Christmas bundle, which sells from €40 for kids and €50 for adults and includes a ticket to the Serbia game on March 5, as well as an Ireland jersey.