Everton manager Ronald Koeman didn’t let Everton’s James McCarthy leave in the January window as he sees his long-term future at Goodison Park.
“I see him having a long term future here because I think he is a really good player and those players we need for the future of Everton,” said Koeman of McCarthy.
“We need competition in the midfield and that is what I mentioned to the board of the club.”
‘There is no possibility for one of the midfielders to go – yes for Darron Gibson, because there was too much competition for him, but not for James.”
Koeman says should McCarthy’s fitness issues and the problems he encountered with Ireland boss Martin O’Neill surface again, he would not hesitate to go public with his criticism.
“My attitude hasn’t changed towards him,” he said.
“My attitude is the same. If what happened with all the injuries and all the call ups for Ireland I will do the same.
“Of course, he’s really on a good fitness level and that makes James a better player than I saw in the beginning.
“At the beginning he was not fit, he had his problems with his hamstring. I am really pleased with his quality and how he is involved in the team.”