Martinez thinks highly of his midfielder.
# Toffees
'James McCarthy is insurance for me' - Toffees midfielder impressing in new role
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has lauded the flexibility of the Ireland international.

Updated at 18.30

ROBERTO MARTINEZ HAS lauded the form of James McCarthy as Everton go in search of a sixth win in seven Premier League matches when they make the trip to relegation-threatened Aston Villa.

McCarthy, whose future at Goodison Park has been the subject of persistent speculation, spoke this week of being “let off the leash” after being afforded more freedom to get forward.

His manager has been impressed with the results, as McCarthy has netted in recent 3-0 home wins against Newcastle United and Manchester United.

“James McCarthy is insurance for me,” Martinez said. “He gives you fantastic balance and in the last six or seven weeks we have allowed him to have a different role.

“He is getting a little bit higher up the pitch. He’s been very effective. It’s something quite new and he is enjoying it.

James McCarthy is such a talented, young player that he could adapt to anything he would like to be. It’s a great strength to have a player like him that can be so flexible.”

Everton’s impressive form has lifted them well clear of the relegation battle that they once looked in danger of being dragged into.

A top-half finish is now on the cards, with Everton sitting 10th, but they will have to continue to make do without Bryan Oviedo, who fractured his fifth metatarsal in training this week. Steven Pienaar (muscle fatigue) is also doubtful.

Originally published

Clare Balding immediately regrets asking Chris Eubank about his philosophy on life

5 Irish winners and losers in the Championship this season

Your Voice
Readers Comments