McArthur tips old mate to stay

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for the Republic of

Ireland midfielder, who has made more than 50 appearances for the

Latics since moving from Hamilton two years ago. McCarthy, 20,

became a key player for Wigan last season and McArthur feels his

former Hamilton team-mate will be anxious to maintain regular

first-team football. “I’m sure he’ll be tempted if there are offers

there,” McArthur said. “To be linked with teams like Liverpool and

Arsenal is very tempting but I’m sure he’ll want to keep playing.

“So it’s a Catch 22 and a hard decision for him again.” McArthur,

23, who arrived at Wigan last summer, is not surprised that the

player he grew up with in Hamilton’s youth set-up is apparently

wanted some of the top clubs in England. The Scotland midfielder

said: “I always believed he would play in the Premier League and

when I saw him make his debut and he was doing so well, I knew he

would kick on, and he has. “Playing with him this season has been

brilliant, he is one of our top performers.” McArthur admits his

team-mate was a source of inspiration to himself and other players

in Scotland following his early impact in England. “He was a young

boy at Hamilton and has gone down there and become a Premier League

star,” McArthur said. “He has been linked with so many moves, it

shows how well he has done.” McArthur’s thoughts are already

focused on next season’s Premier League campaign as he looks for

personal and collective improvement after Wigan survived on the

final day of this campaign with victory at Stoke. “We’ll be looking

to kick on and push up the table,” he said. “We had aims this

season to finish a touch higher but it was just great to stay in

the league. “I’m sure we’ll be okay if we play the way we did in

the last two months of the season.” McArthur added: “At the start

of the season I was a wee touch thinking ‘look where I am now’.

“Now I realise where I am and I’m just trying to do as well as I

can where I am. “I want to play more games. I played in 25 this

season but only started a handful. “Next season I want to play more

and start more. I’ll just keep training hard and hopefully become a

better player again.”