JAMES McCARTHY met up with his new Celtic team-mates at Lennoxtown today, but it doesn’t look as though the midfielder will be lining up alongside them against Dundee at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.
Ange Postecoglou signed the 30-year-old Republic of Ireland star on Tuesday at the same time as Joe Hart arrived.
The 34-year-old former England international keeper went straight into the team for Thursday’s 4-2 win over Jablonec while McCarthy remained at home to train on his own.
The lifelong Hoops fan came close to signing for the club before leaving Hamilton Accies for Wigan in 2009 and has had spells at Everton and Crystal Palace before completing his football journey by returning to Scotland on a four-year deal at the Hoops to seal his dream move, as CQN reported yesterday.
GETTING SHIRTY…James McCarthy and the No.16 jersey. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
McCarthy has been given the No.16 shirt, but, unlike Hart and other new Bhoys Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi, he will not be rushed into making his first appearance for Celtic.
Postecoglou reckons the combative middle-of-the-park operator needs time to get up to speed and will hold talks with the player over when he can expect to turn out in the green and white hoops.
The manager, speaking to Glasgow Live, said: “With James, my gut feeling is he might be a bit slow, he hasn’t done a pre-season with the club.
“The other players who were brought in have been involved, whether it’s pre-season or they’ve been playing.
“James is a bit different. He’s had a session today and yesterday at Lennoxtown, he’s obviously been looking after himself, so I’ll have a good chat to him and we’ll see.
“But I get the sense that he’ll probably be a slower introduction than the others.”