Former Celtic frontman Frank McAvennie believes that the club has a ‘big problem’ when it comes to midfielder James McCarthy and his latest injury issues.

The Irishman joined the Hoops on a free transfer in the summer after being released by English Premier League side Crystal Palace.

So far, it hasn’t been the ideal start to life with his boyhood club, with the 30-year old struggling for form during the spell he replaced Callum McGregor in the middle of the park.

His latest setback comes in the form of a muscular injury, which meant he missed out on back-to-back 2-0 victories against Motherwell and Ferencvaros.

That has left McAvennie concerned as to when he will be fit enough to be able to feature in a critical area of the park for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

“He’s a big problem. He is the one Celtic wanted to come in and sit in the middle. That’s an important part of that side,” McAvennie said, as quoted by Glasgow Times.

“It’s not happening because he’s not fit enough. He’s getting more injuries because he’s not fit enough when he does play.

“I don’t know what the situation is; I like him. Turnbull and Rogic are great going forward.

“So we need someone to sit in the midfield and win tackles. That’s what he’s for, and he is a good player.

“I don’t think there is anyone else at Celtic who can do that, so we need to be careful with him.”

Although Ange has stated that McCarthy could be set for a return before this weekend’s fixture against St Johnstone, the midfielder now has a fight on his hands to make himself one of the options the 56-year old turns to.

In recent fixtures, starting away from home against Aberdeen, he has gone with Nir Bitton as the replacement for Callum McGregor in the middle of the park.

Of course, McCarthy will have something to offer to the squad with his experience and leadership. However, we haven’t seen much of that on the park with the Hoops yet, so fingers crossed that is on the horizon if he makes his way back into the side.


  1. Could Nir Britton not play as holding midfielder, to release Callum to a more forward role, until McCarthy is fit enough. Failing that when Juranovic is fit could Ralston fill the holding role. Either way the squad is looking more competitive than it was at the start of the season.

  2. I said before we signed him it was a stupid move,he is too injury prone and has been for the last several years,we will be lucky if he plays a dozen games,how did he manage to pass the medical at CELTIC.


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