James McCarthy has signed from Everton on a permanent switch.
The Republic of Ireland international – Palace’s fifth signing this summer - brings experience and pedigree to his new south London surroundings, having made more than 370 professional appearances in his career so far.
Born in Glasgow, McCarthy rose through the ranks of Hamilton Academical and made his debut as the youngest player to represent the club in the 21st century, aged just 15. Barely three months later, he would become the youngest player in history to score for the Scottish Premiership outfit when he netted against Livingston in the Scottish Cup.
Having won the SPFA Young Player of the Year award for the 2008–09 season, McCarthy earned a move to Wigan Athletic, where he would re-join former Hamilton teammate and current Eagle James McArthur – with both players playing a key role in winning the FA Cup. During his time with the Latics, McCarthy would also make his international debut for the Republic of Ireland, having represented his grandfather's country of birth from Under-17 to Under-21 level. To date, he has played 41 times for Ireland.
From Wigan, McCarthy joined Everton and helped the side to earn a club Premier League record of 72 points in his first season (2013/14) with the Toffees, but a broken leg restricted his playing time during 2018. But McCarthy has made 223 Premier League appearances to date, notching 13 goals and 12 assists. Having agreed terms with Palace, the 28-year-old is keen to get into action for the Eagles, saying upon arrival: “I can’t wait to get started. It feels like a very nice club, nice family club. The fans obviously come out in their numbers and I spoke to James [McArthur], he couldn’t speak any more highly of it. I’m delighted to be here; it’s a fresh start that I thought I needed.”
Manager Roy Hodgson said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to bring James to the club because he’s a player I’ve admired for a very long time. He’s a player with a vast amount of Premier League experience, given his six and four years playing for Everton and Wigan respectively, and will be an excellent addition to our midfield.”
Club chairman Steve Parish also expressed his excitement with the latest arrival to the Palace ranks, saying: "James is a player we’ve almost managed to sign a couple of times, so I’m delighted that Roy has helped persuade him to join us on this occasion. He’s suffered some setbacks with injury in recent years, and I genuinely believe Palace is a great place for him to restart his career – and am confident his all-action displays will make him a hit with the Palace fans.”