Andy Carroll looks destined to return to Anfield this summer following a loan spell at West Ham United.
Andy Carroll’s Liverpool future is as unclear now as it ever has been. Rumours are suggesting Liverpool want a price of around £17 million for his permanent transfer because of the £35 million they paid for him.
That effectively rules West Ham out of the reckoning to retain him on a permanent basis, which is a shame because he’s been very effective in East London and probably would jump at the chance to stay there.
It means he’s destined to go back to Liverpool and a manager who has already made it clear that he doesn’t fit into Liverpool’s style of play or immediate future, which leaves open the question of how he approaches going back there.
If he seriously wants to try and have a future for Liverpool then he’s probably going to have to try and change his game to fit in with Brendan Rodgers’ ideas and philosophy which will not be easy.
To do that he has to change the way he normally plays, which is as an out and out target man that is used to hold up the ball, bring others into play and generally create that immense physical presence.
He is not good enough in terms of his touch play and his movement to nail down a regular place, with the way Liverpool are currently playing football and especially considering the ongoing form of Luis Suarez.
He could get more games for Liverpool under Rodgers if he shows the same attitude and determination which has been displayed by Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson this season.
They are two players who had doubts over their futures at the club, but they managed to turn things around by impressing the boss with the basic elements of their game such as work rate and enthusiasm.
If Carroll shows Rodgers a genuine willingness to get his head down, work hard and try to make changes which make him more suited to the current Liverpool, he may get more games and more chances.
Rodgers has always given players a chance in this respect, a chance to redeem themselves or prove themselves, which is something Carroll needs to take with both hands.
Otherwise it’s probably going to be more and more a case of him being used as an impact player at the club. This means coming off of the bench frequently and generally keeping it warm for other players who are more favoured for starting positions.
He needs to change because at the moment, there don’t seem to be too many clubs that would be willing to go and pay the best part of £20 million him when they could snap up any big and imposing player for a fraction of that price, who could do just as effective a job in the attack.
Liverpool fans, does he have a future at Anfield?
image: © joncandy