McCarthy looks forward to Everton challenge

The 22-year-old midfielder completed a deadline-day move to Merseyside and is in a positive frame of mind ahead of Ireland's qualifier against Sweden on Friday
A hefty transfer fee can often weigh heavy on a footballer’s shoulders as they struggle to meet the sizeable expectations which inevitably come with such a significant investment.

While James McCarthy’s £13 million switch to Everton isn’t the club’s record transfer fee, there will be an added weight on the midfielder’s young shoulders to live up to the price tag and prove his worth to the Goodison Park faithful.

However, the Republic of Ireland international is adamant his move from Wigan Athletic won’t put more pressure on him and insists he’s fully focused on this week’s crucial World Cup qualifiers despite only joining up with the squad on Tuesday morning after a frantic few hours to complete the transfer.

“I am looking forward to it. It's a new challenge and as I say, I am really looking forward to it,” he said after training on Wednesday. “I have had a few people on my case about it, and it's one I'm going to need to take in my stride. Hopefully I can make the step up to a big club at Everton, and it's one I'm looking forward to.

“Players go for all different kinds of money these days. I'm just delighted to be an Everton player and obviously delighted to be back in the Premier League. It's a real excitement and a new challenge for myself,” McCarthy added.

His move to Merseyside will see the former Hamilton Academical man link up with former manager Roberto Martinez again but before he can settle into life with his new club, McCarthy must first put his excitement to one side and focus on the task in hand for his country.

“The main thing is getting the three points against Sweden and then go to Austria. We will take it one game at a time, but there is a real buzz about the camp,” he explained.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side head into Friday’s crucial Group C qualifier against Sweden level on points with their Scandinavian opponents and Austria, who they face on Tuesday, as the race for second spot behind Germany reaches a thrilling climax.

There is no shortage of support for McCarthy's move from the DW Stadium with the Italian tactician expressing his delight, while also backing the highly-rated player to thrive back at an ambitious club.

McCarthy’s transfer to Everton is the club’s second highest fee they’ve paid for a player behind the £15 million they dished out for the now departed Marouane Fellaini back in 2008. If the Glaswegian-born midfield maestro can have the same success in a blue jersey that the Belgian had, then he will certainly have lived up to expectations and beyond.