Forgotten Celtic star handed Lamine Yamal comparison as he's thrown into ongoing debate

Celtic Park. Celtic Park.
Celtic Park. | Getty Images
The midfielder is facing an uncertain future at Celtic this summer

Hamilton Academical have jokingly compared to Celtic midfielder James McCarthy to Barcelona and Spain star Lamine Yamal.

Like the Euro 2024 star, the Glasgow-born man burst into first-team football as a teenager. He made his debut at the age of 15. McCarthy, who is now 33-years-old, rose up through the academy ranks at Hamilton and represented them at various youth levels before breaking into their senior team.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hamilton have posted a tongue in cheek reply to social media post asking for a better player than Lamal at the age of 16.

McCarthy has fallen out of favour at Celtic and remains under contract at Celtic Park until 2025.

When he joined them back in 2021, he said: “I’m a good age to come here and I’m excited. I want a new challenge, I want to make sure I do well here and I’m fully focused on doing well for this club.

“To be fair, the last two years I have been fit for the majority of games – near enough them all. Last season I had a wee issue. Nothing serious. I think I was out for two or three weeks with it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Apart from that, I’ve been fit and ready to go. It’s just been one way or another why I haven’t been selected but, as I said, I’m delighted to be here and really looking forward to a new challenge.

“I have been training on my own. I’ve been training at Lennoxtown the last couple of days so I feel good and they’re happy enough with what I’ve been doing away from the club. Now it’s just about when the manager is going to get me involved.

“I’ve been going to quiet, out of the way places in the morning to make sure I am ticking the boxes. I made sure I kept myself fit because you never know when the call is going to come.

“It’s been a long summer, not knowing what’s going to happen, but when this call came there was only one team I wanted to go to.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He also looked back on his breakthrough at Hamilton: “I remember when I came through at 15 and I got away early from school to go in to Hamilton. It’s been a long time coming.

“There’s been highs and lows down south, as always. Winning the FA Cup (with Wigan) and playing with a big club like Everton was up there, as was being at Palace these last couple of years.

“There’s been ups and downs but I’m now home and what more could you ask for than playing for your boyhood club. This is what you dream of as a kid.

“I’m happy with the responsibility. I’m experienced now after 12 years in England and I’ve been through a lot. I’ll do whatever I can do to help anyone.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

McCarthy left Hamilton in 2009 and had stints down the border at Wigan Athletic, Everton and Crystal Palace before Celtic snapped him up. He has since played only 27 games for the Hoops though and it remains to be seen what lies in store for him in the future.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.