To: Crystal Palace
From: Wigan Athletic
After coming through the ranks at Hamilton Academical, McArthur joined Wigan Athletic in 2010 and went on to start earning excellent reviews. The central midfielder subsequently became a key member of the Wigan team who entered the record books in 2013 when they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final. McArthur has also represented Scotland at Under 21 and senior level.
McArthur was a wanted man in the final month of the transfer window and was linked to Burnley and Leicester City before a move to the latter collapsed. That new Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock was then prepared to smash his club’s transfer record in order to take the Scot to Selhurst Park also shows his value. McArthur’s ability is not in dispute and he has shown in the past he can do it in the Premier League, boasting an 85 per cent pass success rate in his 34 appearances in England’s top flight in 2012/13.
|Championship 2014/15||Games||Assists||Key Passes Per Game||Pass Success (%)|
If McArthur does not make a positive and immediate impact, Warnock could be criticised by Palace fans for spending a large sum of money on one player when it could have been spread more widely. It should also be noted that McArthur’s pass success rate has dropped below 80% this season in the haywire environment of the Championship and that will need to improve back in the Premier League.
Warnock will presumably see McArthur slotting in to central midfield alongside Mile Jedinak. Against Newcastle United in Warnock’s first game back in charge, defender Joel Ward played out of position in central midfield and therefore the signing of McArthur will fill that void. But it still looks like a lot of money for a player signed from the Championship and a club who were thought to be keeping an eye on balancing the books.
What is your verdict on the signing of James McArthur?