The curious case of Andy Carroll - should Liverpool just keep him?

Andy Carroll transferred to Liverpool from Newcastle United in January 2011 for a fee of £35 million – a price-tag he has yet to live down.

It’s a heavy weight £35 million, not that I would know, but from the career of Andy Carroll, along with another of the Reds’ big-money men in Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, the burden of their worth has weighted him down considerably.

Carroll has scored exactly 11 goals for Liverpool over the course of one and a half seasons – marked at 58 appearances in total.

That’s not a good return by any stretch of the imagination and Carroll became something of a poster boy for Kenny Dalglish’s shortcomings in the transfer market, although it must be duly noted that it was in fact Dalglish who signed the Premier League’s current top goalscorer Luis Suarez.

You win some, you lose some but when it comes to Andy Carroll it is a curious case. At Newcastle he was a constant threat, looked eager and hungry, revved and raring to go.

He had worked his way up through the Magpies youth system from the age of 16 and by 2009, aged 20, he’d cemented his status not only as Newcastle’s best centre-forward but as a promising prospect for England.

What happened? He went to Liverpool off the back of a spell where he was averaging one goal every two games for the Magpies and looked to be headed for a 20 goals per season tally most certainly.

Whether it was the pressure of such a vast expense having been spent on him or whether it was the pressure of playing for one of the most successful clubs in world football history or for a legend like Dalglish or in front of the Kop. Who knows? Probably a culmination of those permutations.

But, amidst the damage done to his confidence and his reputation, somewhere in there, there is still a very talented target man and centre-forward; a traditional number 9.

Sam Allardyce has done a decent job of locating that long lost player whilst he’s been on loan at West Ham this term – Carroll has scored 6 goals in 20 appearances which isn’t all that bad.

Liverpool could still use some more firepower up front – Brendan Rodgers’ January signing of Daniel Sturridge has helped to ease the creative and productive burden on Suarez but another option wouldn’t go amiss – especially an option that’s different to the ones he’s got.

Andy Carroll, at his best, is a brutish bully in the box – he has the capacity to terrify backlines across the nation – he’s strong ad powerful, dominant aerially and holds the ball up well.

He doesn’t fit the profile of a Brendan Rodgers signing but that might not be such a bad thing – they have flair players, technical wizardry, pace and tricks up their sleeve in abundance between Suarez, Sturridge and the attackers like Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Fabio Borini (eventually).

Plan A doesn’t work all the time and you need a Plan B to fall back on – when there’s 10 minutes to go and you need a winner or an equalizer, wouldn’t you fancy pumping balls into the box for Andy Carroll to get on the end of.

He might not be worth £35 million but he’s got to be worth a shot, right?

image: © kong niffe

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