Roberto Martinez believes that James McCarthy committing his “best years” to Everton is a “great boost for the Club” after the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international agreed a new deal to June 2020.
The FA Cup-winning midfield player, a £13m transfer deadline day signing in September 2013 from Wigan, has made 70 starts for the Club and six more appearances as a substitute in his two seasons at Goodison, helping the Club to achieve its highest points tally in Premier League history in 2013/14 and becoming a driving force on the strong run to the last 16 in last season’s Europa League.
With 27 caps for the Republic of Ireland, McCarthy is an integral part of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, but his immediate focus is on driving Everton forward next season towards a challenging position, which the manager believes he will contribute to greatly with the best years of his career now confirmed to be in a Toffees shirt.
Martinez said: “When you are trying to shape a squad, the new faces are always important, but it’s vital to be able to build also on the continuity of top performers at the Club and James represents that.
“That vital element of continuity in the squad is a great boost for the Club, with James committing to a new, long-term contract.
“He has gone from strength to strength since his arrival here at the Club and he’s still a young man whom we want to see grow and continue to help the team to achieve success.
“At the age of 24, he’s already contributed immensely towards the team these past two seasons and the fact that the best years of his career lie ahead of him is something that is tremendously exciting for the team and for the fans.”
McCarthy has scored three goals since his arrival at the Club, including the opener in last season’s 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Goodison, and he is determined to continue Everton’s push towards achieving success in coming seasons.
Having made his debut for Hamilton Academical at the age of 15, whom he helped to achieve promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 2008, McCarthy went on to make 133 appearances for Wigan under Martinez, culminating in the FA Cup victory over Manchester City in May 2013.
McCarthy has also represented Ireland at Under 17, Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21 level.