Carroll goes back to Anfield after this weekend and unless West Ham United can get a permanent deal for him sorted out, he may not be going back.
The issue has, and always will be, been the price considering the £35 million fee that Liverpool paid Newcastle United for Carroll originally, with the Hammers looking to do a deal for under the £10 million mark.
If Carroll starts against Reading, they will need him to ironically have a terrible game which will put them into a better position when it comes to justifying a low price.
If he scores a hat-trick against Reading then, equipped with the fact he’s just been re-called into the England squad, his price could easily go up with Liverpool standing firm over the striker.
It’s just an issue of price because West Ham have made all of the right noises that show they want to keep him and he does not seem to figure in Brendan Rodgers’ plans at Liverpool in any form.
He’s scored seven goals in 25 appearances this season and his robust and aggressive style of play is something which has helped him to fit in with Sam Allardyce’s style of football and which has made him popular with the fans.
He’s a target man, which is why Liverpool don’t seem to want him. Rodgers is creating a style of football at Anfield which is based around smaller and more subtle touch players.
That is something which Carroll certainly isn’t and it’s something which means he would struggle just as much to have an impact under Rodgers now, as he did at the start of this season.
He just seems to be a problem that Liverpool don’t want any more which slightly weakens their position because they may have to just cut the price in half if they want to get rid of him.
However, Liverpool are becoming a very well run business under the ownership of John Henry so a brilliant performance against Reading and an England call up will cause them to hold firm.
They will see him as a commodity rather than a problem, which is the only reason they seem to be holding out for a fee in the region of £17 million which is a price the Hammers have already said he’s not going to play.
A few fluffed chances, maybe a booking and a generally all round frustrating display on the final day means the Hammers shouldn’t need any more than £10 million to make it happen.
Spend the money and then hope that poor performance doesn’t replicate itself.
Where do you think Carroll will be next season?
image: © kong niffe