After 456 days out, Irish international James McCarthy finally made his Premier League return in Everton’s impressive 4-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
McCarthy had been sidelined since January of 2018 when he broke his leg in a game against West Brom but came on as a substitute with 15 minutes to go at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Irish midfielder had been ready for a return towards the start of the year but has found it difficult to break back into the first team.
The 28-year old spoke to Off The Ball following Everton’s win on Sunday and outlined that he wanted to leave the club on loan in January but manager Marco Silva wanted him to stay and fight for his place.
“There was a couple of options to go on loan and obviously with not playing here I spoke to [Silva] and said to him I would like to go on loan and play some games because I’ve been finding it hard to get into this team.
“He was understanding with it but he said he didn’t want that at the time.
“Basically we waited to see what happened but I’ve got some minutes now and now I look forward to finishing the season off strongly.”
McCarthy also described his return from injury and recovery as a “long road” but outlined that it was good to get back in the Everton first team once again.
“It’s been very frustrating but it’s good to get back and get some minutes,” the midfielder said after returning to the fold yesterday.
“It’s been a frustrating six or seven months, I’ve been back and training making the team, making the squad. It’s been a long road.”
The midfielder’s return to the Everton setup also represents a big boost for Mick McCarthy and Ireland, who could certainly benefit from a fully fit James McCarthy at their disposal ahead of the upcoming qualifiers in June.
McCarthy outlined that he has spoken to his namesake on a number of occasions who explained to him that a run of games in the first team is required if he is to become a key part of the Irish squad once again.
“I’ve spoken to him a few times, around the (transfer) window to see what was happening, if I was going to go on loan and stuff.
“He was honest with me and told me I have to play games before he can call me in.
“I just need to keep working hard and see what the summer brings.”