McCarthy a doubt for the remainder of the season

Friday 21 April 2017  64 Comments  [Jump to last]
James McCarthy might not play again until next season as Everton nurse him through his latest injury set-back.

The midfielder has been in and out the team for most of the season, sidelined first by a groin injury that required surgery and then recurrent hamstring issues, the latest of which he aggravated while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland last month.

McCarthy was already undergoing treatment for a hamstring problem when he was called up by Martin O'Neill during the last international break and even named him in the starting XI to face Wales in a crucial World Cup qualifier before the player pulled out of the team after feeling tightness in the muscle.

The incident sparked another back-and-forth in the media between Ronald Koeman and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, with the former criticising the latter for trying to rush McCarthy back with so little training under his belt since being injured again.

The Dutchman was asked about McCarthy's fitness yesterday during his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to West Ham.

"He is still working separate of the group," Koeman said. "There are four weeks to go and I don't know if he will be at a good level physically to play. We will wait.

"It's not the first time he's been out. We need to see how he's recovering and at what time he'll be available, I don't know."  

Reader Comments (64)

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Kim Vivian
1 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:02:56
Well, looks like that's the last we've seen of McCarthy in our shirt but don't know what anyone will pay for a sick note in the summer.

Hopefully the Irish FA or whoever they are, or FIFA, are paying his wages in the meantime.

James Stewart
2 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:04:33
Highly doubt he will play for us again judging by Koeman's reaction to the question.
Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:10:54
This might be true, about McCarthy having played his last game for Everton... but it also might be that Professional Koeman doesn't see the point in bringing him back now, with so few games left to play?

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:27:25
No future left for McCarthy now, you would imagine.

I'm guessing that privately Koeman Is seething with McCarthy for showing a total disrespect for the club that pays his wages, instead the lad who was actually born in Scotland and speaks with a Scottish accent chose to limp to international duty with Ireland knowing there was little chance of playing anyway.

Disappointing end to it all most likely.

Keith Conchie
5 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:27:46
By the tone in which Koeman answered the question regarding McCarthy, I think it's safe to say that he has had enough of him and he's gone at the end of the season.

McCarthy has had his injuries, and it can happen to any player. But to go against your club's advice (who pay your huge salary) and play for your country (or attempt to) is in my opinion, disrespectful. And this isn't the first time he's done it.

Keith Conchie
6 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:31:34
Jim (#4),

I'm probably the only person on here that didn't know McCarthy was Scottish. Which just makes it even more of a joke that he shows so much loyalty to Ireland over his club who pays his salary.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:42:45
Very disappointing all round. A fine player who has been blighted by injury and who has lost his way.
Brian Williams
8 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:43:28
What's gonna happen to Ross's song now then?
Mike Berry
9 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:44:04
Agree with the comments, disdain from Ronald when asked about McCarthy. Can't see him being with Everton, never have been a big fan and far to injury prone, sadly another Gibson.
James Morgan
10 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:52:43
He did a job for us but we've got players now who can do what he does and more, ie, Davies, Schneiderlin and Gana. Time to cash in and upgrade.
Paul Morgan
11 Posted 21/04/2017 at 08:57:54
What a shame that two posters on this thread took the opportunity to question the legitimacy of James McCarthy's allegiance to the Republic of Ireland's football team. Like many living in Great Britain, I would imagine that he grew up in an Irish family and inherited a love for Ireland from his parents or grandparents.

There are about 8 million such people living in Great Britain and some of us pull more towards Ireland and others don't. It's personal. I can't see what any of this has to do with a player being injury prone or mismanagement by his national association.

In 2017 it seems that the obsession with nationality and identity has to cloud every argument. Let's just concentrate on being Evertonians, shall we?

Thomas Surgenor
12 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:07:35
I'm a big McCarthy fan (when he is fit). I think he offers a lot of energy and work rate.

But even my patience has been tested with this whole FAI fiasco. Time to get rid. Not sure how much we could recoup for him, I doubt Spurs are interested anymore so he will be off on his jollies back ''home'' to Glasgow.

Peter Lee
13 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:10:15
Never been a big fan of James but out of order to criticise his choice of allegiance internationally.

Regarding international call-ups, I understand that, if selected, players have to turn up to be assessed by the national medical team. So not his choice to go. After that clarity is lost. If he feels fit and they agree he trains. If all goes well, although I agree that he would have been some way off full tilt and the coaches should have seen that, then he should be available for selection.

Unless surgery is required, injuries like hamstrings are difficult to assess and full recovery difficult to judge. Not playing again until pre-season will help although I imagine that Ireland have fixtures at the end of the season.

Wouldn't be sorry to see him go but we need a larger and better quality squad going into the Europa League so no problem with him staying either.

Christopher Timmins
14 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:23:33
Get him sorted between now and the July / August kick off; with European football in the bag we will need a big squad.

When he played the last twenty minutes against Spurs and had a problem early the following week, it was obvious that he had a deep seated problem and the manager recognised same at the time.

Nobody is going to buy the guy until he proves his fitness. I am just hoping that, when he eventually proves his fitness, he will prove his worth.

Kevin Gillen
15 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:25:42
I agree with Peter Lee (#13). Questioning someone's international loyalty in the modern era is just daft and smacks of sectarianism. Do we question Nasser Hussein or Maro Itoje?

I had a mum born in Eire and a dad from Northern Ireland but I was born in Liverpool. It took me a long time to work out my national and cultural self. I suppose my country is Liverpool, which doesn't feel very English, although I've lived in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for 30 years.

To all the Yellowbellies and Yorkies I'm a Scouse. My cultural identity is also solidly Evertonian, it matters.

I think it has been a really difficult season for McCarthy and we really could have done with his aggression. I hope he comes through his hamstring problems and plays next season where he will be, to use a well oiled ToffeeWeb phrase, like a new signing. I also think Koeman likes him, in spite of his criticism of him.

Brian Wilkinson
16 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:30:20
This guy has now twice ignored the advice of Everton, both times been out injured on his return, I doubt Ronnie will be keeping hold of this player come next season, expect Newcastle to sign in the Summer.

If we can get Besic fully fit, that will be some midfield we have for next season.

Gerry Ring
17 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:32:20
Criticism of Macca is very harsh. 2 seasons ago he was our best player! Koeman was picking Barry ahead of Macca when he was fit so he probably felt his time was limited anyway.

The Liverpool game showed our soft midfield underbelly which McCarthy would address. He's way ahead of a number of our other midfielders including Besic. Still think we should hold onto him.

Regarding playing for Ireland, I wouldn't underestimate the loyalty towards teammate & Irish captain Seamus Coleman in his decision to turn up for Ireland.

Everton medical team need to answer questions on this one too. Why is it taking so long to sort a hamstring issue?????

Lee Preston
18 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:39:53
Ireland have two friendlies and a world cup qualifier in June, so best to keep him out of the Everton team and fit for their games. Wouldn't want his club football getting in the way of ROI games.

I really like James McCarthy as a player, but this season has left a sour taste in the mouth with the club v country row.

Kunal Desai
19 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:43:12
He won't be here next season. Should get somewhere around £15 million for him. Hopefully he can finally get over his injury problems and get a run going and be a key player elsewhere.
Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 21/04/2017 at 09:55:36
Blimey, who would have thought that?!?
Rob Dolby
21 Posted 21/04/2017 at 10:08:09
Training separately from the group means that he is next to the exit door and off to WBA or somewhere similar next season.

All the nonsense with ROI hasn't helped his Everton career and lets face it, if he was fit, then maybe we wouldn't have seen Tom Davies come through.

I know Davies has a lot to learn but he is miles better at going forward than McCarthy. Onwards and upwards.

Shane Corcoran
22 Posted 21/04/2017 at 10:31:21
Peter and Kevin, thank you very much for pulling up this bullshit from Jim & Keith about where McCarthy was born and, wait for it, the accent he speaks in.

Have your opinion on the club v country thing but don't pretend to have any idea about where McCarthy's international allegiances lie, or the reason for it.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 21/04/2017 at 11:16:29
Shame as he has offered something more this season when he has played and suits Koeman's pressing game pretty well. Difficult to know what really went on with the Ireland matches and training and what he was obligated to do, told by the club etc but seems to have rankled the gaffer for sure.

If a club comes in with a good offer for him then fair enough but otherwise get him fit for next season when we will need a big squad to cope with Europa demands.

Franny Porter
24 Posted 21/04/2017 at 11:55:17
I loved him when he first got here, sadly though he hasn't maintained those standards, partly due to injury and partly due to being "soiled" by the final Martinez season.

When he is fit and firing I love his aggression and attitude and will be sad to seem him go, however, this whole Eire affair has left such a bad taste in the mouth its probably time to move him on.

In all honestly he is probably fourth or fifth choice for the central midfield position now, if Besic can stay fit he would fill that slot I reckon.

Gary Edwards
25 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:01:06
Cue selection for Eire's next game and Growler Keane's incomprehensible tirade aimed at Everton.
Brian Wilkinson
26 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:09:22
May be training on his own and on his way out; for now, though, at least the guy still has a locker.
Jay Wood
27 Posted 21/04/2017 at 12:28:20
Shane @ 22.

Whilst I agree with you Jim Benning's post on McCarthy is a facile one, I for one do wonder if James has tested Koeman's patience to breaking point.

I thought he was as good as anyone in his first season with us under Martinez, but he didn't carry that over into the 2nd season (along with many other players, I acknowledge).

It was also a stop-start season with him when he missed 3 months due to – yes – a hamstring injury. Like with the Ireland national side situation, he wasn't helped by a manager who tried to play him too soon after a period on the treatment table.

The third and last season under Martinez he looked a very pedestrian player to the one who first arrived at the club.

When he has played this season - a mere 12 Premier League appearances and 1 League Cup appearance (and some of those from the bench or being subbed out) – he has shown some good form. He has also looked ordinary in other games.

The first incident with Ireland this season created friction between Everton, the FAI and the respective managers. The latest, being called up, selected and then crying off during the warm up against Wales, justifiably (IMO) rankled even more with Koeman.

As I wrote at the time, I hold McCarthy equally culpable for running the risk he did to play in the Wales game.

For 3 seasons now, McCarthy has been unavailable for long periods to play for his paymaster, Everton FC. Clearly, there is an ongoing problem – particularly with his hamstrings – that needs to be addressed.

I have no doubts, given the sophistication of sport science these days, the club is studying every aspect of James's training and dietary regime, etc, to get to the bottom of the issue. We have a vested interest in ensuring he is available 'to work'.

Alternatively, Koeman may well have evaluated not only the player's ability and fitness but also his attitude and commitment to ensure he is available 'to work'.

I for one won't blink an eye if Koeman concludes he is not worth retaining due to a number of factors. Because ,as good as James McCarthy can be and as much as we need a fuller, better squad next season which should include European fixtures to add to our domestic workload, McCarthy is an easier player to replace than – say – Barkley or Lukaku.

Eddie Dunn
28 Posted 21/04/2017 at 13:15:55
I think Koeman and Macca have fallen out, and the lad's recurrent injuries have undermined his future with EFC. Koeman could barely conceal his frustration during his press conference pre-West Ham.

I am amazed that some don't know he is a Scot, who, like many Celtic fans, would choose to play for Eire.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:01:48
Jay #27, excellent summary, reflects my feelings precisely.
Allan Board
30 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:23:50
If he prefers to play for Ireland rather than Everton, especially when not fit, I'm sure he will find a club there – be plenty of Sunday sides who are short of headless chickens to keep the grass short I am sure.

Disrespectful to everything EFC, including everyone on here.

He's had his chance and blew it!!!!!

Forget a fee, dump him. Loser.

Dan Egerton
31 Posted 21/04/2017 at 14:30:51
James McCarthy dominated the midfield against Liverpool last year. He went off injured in the 2nd half, and it was only then they gained control of the midfield and beat us, barely, 1-0 with a lucky rebounded goal. If he was fully fit and stayed on, we might have won it.

He seems to be choosing country over club so I can see Koeman's frustration, considering Koeman coaches a club not a country. That said I agree with Paul (#11).

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:09:42
We should have sold him last August when we had the chance. I believe Celtic and a couple of Premier League clubs were interested. We could have gotten our 㾹m back but now I'm not so sure we'll get anywhere near that amount anymore.

He can be okay on his day (however rare that day is) but now he is at best 4th choice defensive central midfielder in the squad and he can't really play anywhere else.

Move him on in the summer so we can at least give his wages to someone else. A very average player who won't be missed, IMO.

Dan Egerton
33 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:15:05
FYI: McCarthy has another 3 years left on his contract. Ends 30 June 2020.
Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:31:13
I think James can still be a good solid player for Everton but he has to learn his lesson regarding his club and country. nothing wrong with him wanting to play for the country of his choice, but he should look back and realise one manager was looking after his future and his long term fitness, not too sure about the other one.

I think Koeman will use him again as long as he plays the game with him.

Shane Corcoran
35 Posted 21/04/2017 at 15:49:37
Jay (#27), well summarised.

Allan Board (#30), haven't seen you on here before. Hopefully, with posts like that, I won't see you again. One of the stupidest posts from start to finish that I've seen.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:04:59
Allan (#30) – "Forget a fee, dump him. Loser".

I'll be round at your place later to collect any old fivers you don't want, before they go out of use (winner?).

Daniel Lim
37 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:51:24
What's wrong with this, Shane?

"He's had his chance and blew it!!!!!"

John Pierce
38 Posted 21/04/2017 at 16:58:37
I would say time to brush away the excuses and sentiment made for James to clarify the picture.

He has barely played for 2 years; any influence Martinez had is long gone, there are plenty of other players from that reign still here and they are fine; Rom, Mirallas, Jags, Baines, Seamus. Time people stop using Roberto to cover up McCarthy's failure to address his issues.

The responsibility is with the player. He didn't have the will or strength to tell Bobby to do one for Wolfsburg, the same weakness when dealing with the RoI.

A hamstring injury can quickly become chronic and the fact he chose to ignore it as a professional sportsman speaks volumes for the lad.

Koeman's rhetoric is one of a man who is fed up with a player who cannot look after himself.

My assessment is cold, and unfeeling but that's the bottom line without the sentiment.

Shane Corcoran
39 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:01:30
Daniel (#37), that's the least worst part of the post alright.

I'm not sure what it means exactly so it's hard to criticise it.

Alan McMillan
40 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:37:15
It's clear he has underlying issues with his hammies – perhaps a skeletal issue, who knows.

Surely though, the onus is on the Everton backroom staff to identify and rectify the problem? We shouldn't be so harsh on McCarthy himself as it seems he is in the middle of a ridiculous war of egos between Koeman and O'Neill. I'm sure he's embarrassed by it all and as frustrated as the rest of us.

And to Kim on point 1 above, UEFA are paying his wages while he is out, so no financial implications for Everton (apart from transfer value).

Geoff Williams
41 Posted 21/04/2017 at 17:37:55
One of my favourite players but his injury record is such that I would accept any reasonable offer for him. I'm of the same opinion with Besic.
Colin Glassar
42 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:20:30
Anything offered around £15m and we should get rid. He's disrespected us twice now.
Rob Halligan
43 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:24:22
The only problem with that Colin, is he would more than likely fail a medical, and we'd still be stuck with him.
Mick Davies
44 Posted 21/04/2017 at 18:40:38
One of the best proponents of Koeman's pressing game, but like others have said, he just can't stay fit, and stupidly plays games (must give him a bit of credit: every player should want to play every game) when he shouldn't.

He seems to have landed in the middle of a club v country spat, and it looks like his manager isn't too happy. Saying all that, I reckon he'll still be here next season, and, wait for it... he'll be like a new signing!

Mark Frere
45 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:16:25
I really hope he's still here next season, I haven't forgotten how good he was in his first season here. Unfortunately, his progress has stalled due to a catalogue of injuries... but he was the best player on the pitch this season when we beat Arsenal and he showed what he is capable of when fit.

McCarthy is an excellent option to have, especially with all the extra Europa League games next season; I hope Koeman and James can put their differences to one side (if they have any) and concentrate on getting McCarthy fit and playing well for next season.

With Schneiderlin, Davies, Gana and McCarthy we have plenty of strength and depth in the engine room of midfield.

Mike Green
46 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:24:00
Yesterday's man. Shame but has to be said circumstances that were out of his control, and those that were within, have conspired against him.

Long way back now, I would sell him for 㾶m+ which I'm pretty sure we'd get.

Colin Metcalfe
47 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:31:30
I am not too bothered about Macca not playing again this season however with Europe pretty much confirmed for next season we will need both him and Besic fully fit and raring to go come early August.

My opinion is that Macca and Besic are two very effective midfielder's when fit and that is something that our back room and medical staff should really sort out once and for all, furthermore after what has gone on with the ROI not once but twice I think McCarthy will not take any more chances in the future with his fitness , let him represent his country by all means but only when he is 100% .

I would be disappointed if we part with him because he very much the type player that can play Koemans pressing style and when the few times he has played this season he looked very good and fits very well this system and as we know the Europa League is a long old slog so we are going to need a bigger squad and a fit Macca will be very very useful member .

Paul Ferry
48 Posted 21/04/2017 at 19:35:48
If anyone doubts McCarthy's potential to have an impact compare the two halves of the Old Lady derby. Watch a re-run of the last home game of last season against Norwich where he played a more forward game and was excellent. He and Tom are the two we have in midfield at the moment who are suited perfectly to Ron's pressing game.

That said, we will surely get hold of one or two more in what is already well on the way to becoming a truly very good midfield. I know his injury record. This 'disrespectful' stuff is a little too high horse for me. If we use 'disrespectful' now as leading a reason to sack off then he would not be the only one in the views of others on here.

Also, I don't really anyone on here pointing fingers at his shithouse national gaffer and shithouse #2. I don't know, but my hunch – that's all it is – is that he felt under pressure to play and might have been pressured to play.

He doesn't pick himself to play for the Irish but he can make himself available.

I would prefer that we kept him. I really would and I have been a critic. I see what he can offer us and until we add another who can offer what he can then it would be daft to sell him.

Gavin Johnson
49 Posted 21/04/2017 at 20:26:19
McCarthy will be gone at the end of the season, probably to Newcastle, so it doesn't really matter he's crocked. He's been out for most of the season anyway.
Julian Wait
50 Posted 21/04/2017 at 21:14:58
Like many others, and seemingly Koeman, I'm over him and the FAI's behaviour. Move on. Play the kids.
Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 21/04/2017 at 23:06:58
Colin #47, don't know why Besic's name keeps coming up, but as far as I'm concerned his entire resume consists of one brilliant game against City. Totally one-dimensional player – tackling – and a complete zero offensively.

I continue to predict he's played his last game for us. Koeman went on a shopping spree for defensive mids long before Besic got hurt. I'm betting he doesn't rate him at all.

Christy Ring
52 Posted 21/04/2017 at 23:43:40
Have to say, I'm a big fan of McCarthy; when fully fit, he does a superb job, and listening to assholes here, who haven't got a clue, why would you sell him.
Lev Vellene
53 Posted 22/04/2017 at 01:06:42
Christy, Macca is a good player when fully fit, as you say. And I'd love to have him available!

But he does look like a walking sick-note for us, and when he then seems to ruin his return to fitness every time he shows up for international games he probably ought to have avoided just to be on the safe side, how can you really blame people for getting fired up?

This is not just once, but several times...

Steve Ferns
54 Posted 22/04/2017 at 02:13:08
The way some are going on you'd think he was a crock like Besic. Or I'll whisper it, Duncan Ferguson, who compounded his injuries by drinking heavily and delaying his return to the first team.

McCarthy might have only started a dozen games this season, but he still averages just shy of 30 games a season. So I think the ones who bemoan his injury record are actually noticing it more because of how much we missed him.

McCarthy was one of our best players, if not the best player, when we got 72 points. The drop off in Martinez's season 2 coincided with McCarthy getting injured and the teams loss of form continued as he struggled to get 100% fit. Last season he never looked to get to 100% as Martinez threw him in too soon.

He's only 26. He's got bags of talent and a great work ethic. I'd love him to sit the season out, get properly fit, enjoy a good preseason and come back good as ever next season. We will need him and his experience in Europe.

Alexander Murphy
55 Posted 22/04/2017 at 03:06:12
I do like James. He's a really good honest lad.

However, I think that he has made poor decisions regarding his fitness and allowed his fierce loyalty to cloud his judgement.

Possibly Roy Keane's indomitable spirit and history tilted James to "take one for the team". Bad call sunshine.

As for the bespectacled moron. Yes you played for the late great Brian Clough, but you clearly learned the square root of bugger all from him. As the great man would say "Your a bloody disgrace young man!"

Rob Hooton
57 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:04:34
I would like to see a fit McCarthy back and raring to go next season.

Perhaps he was naive in being so eager to play for ROI when obviously not fit but you can't blame a lad for wanting to represent his country in a big match.

Hopefully he will have learnt from this and Koeman can help take his game up a level; now that would be a great thing to see.

Brendan Fox
58 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:23:13
Christy everyone is entitled to their opinion but to disregard what other Evertonians say regarding their feelings toward McCarthy and calling them assholes is out of order so wind your neck in.

If a player chooses to play for their country when not fit and consequently aggravates or incurs another injury then that is a decision that the player first and foremost has to take the blame for any fallout that they may come in for as they have a duty to themselves and the club that pays their wages to make the right decisions regarding their fitness and availability for selection. This is the second time James has made poor decisions regarding his fitness whilst being called up for the RoI.

McCarthy has shown what he can bring to the team when fit but (and it's a big 'but') when he's fit ,which as we have seen is not very often over the past 3 seasons.

I'd keep him as a squad player, if when back to fitness a decent offer came in for him I'd ship him out solely because there would be no guarantee he'd not be back on the physio's table shortly after getting back to full match fitness.

David Midgley
59 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:29:14
Kevin (#15).

You hit the nail right on the head. What more can anyone want than being a Scouser and an Evertonian?

Peter Gorman
60 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:32:52
Being a scouser who plays for Everton?
David Midgley
61 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:48:42
Peter (#60).
Now, that would be the cherry.
Neil Cremin
62 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:49:51
Brian (#16). Some Logic. To the best of my recollection Besic is far more injury prone than McCarthy.

To many of the other posts. A player cannot refuse an international call up.

To many other posts: McCarthy protection of a dodgy back four has been the key to many of our wins when he was playing.

Finally, Koemann is also guilty of playing Maca when he wasnt fully fit hence the reasons for his recurring injury. However, I do believe he is gone (and will be missed) because of the bad publicity he has received and as illustrated in this site.

A bit of balance please.

Christy Ring
63 Posted 22/04/2017 at 18:29:30
I believe Koeman won't play McCarthy again this season. He'll get his hamstring sorted once and for all, and come back preseason fresh and ready.

He knows from his performance against Arsenal and Liverpool, what a fit Macca can do, and we'll need a big squad, with the Europa League as well next season.

Anto Byrne
64 Posted 26/04/2017 at 03:51:53
Looks like Arsenal are finding form again so 7th is it. Time to give some of the kids a run – they are Premier League 2 Champions. Williams, Dowell etc.
Rob Baker
65 Posted 09/05/2017 at 13:42:24
I'd be happy for McCarthy to be sold on. One less crab-like midfielder... I'm sick of stockpiling defensive midfielders. We need a creative gem like Riquelme, is he available finally?

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