The 22-year-old had a trial with the Anfield club aged 16 - he'd just broken into the first-team squad at Hamilton in Scotland and was invited down for a week's training with the Premier League club.
But he decided against moving down to England, believing that he'd be better served by first-team football in Scotland rather than reserve team with Liverpool.
He eventually completed a transfer to Wigan, and impressed under Roberto Martinez at the DW Stadium - particularly in the past two seasons in the Premier League.
And he re-joined the Spanish manager at Goodison Park, making a deadline day £13m move from Wigan to Everton following the sale of former-Toffees midfielder Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United.
So, eight years after rejecting his first opportunity to move to Merseyside, McCarthy insists he has no regrets over his original decision.
"There was talk of it [Liverpool]," said McCarthy. "Obviously I went down for a week's trial. It wasn't to be, I was too young at the time. I didn't want to move away from home.
"To be honest, the way things have worked out, I am happy."
McCarthy was joined by Manchester City's Gareth Barry, who signed for Everton on deadline day on loan from Manuel Pellegrini's side, and Romelu Lukaku, another loan signing from Chelsea.
Liverpool were also busy on the final day of the transfer window, snapping up Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.