What should Liverpool do with £15 million from Carroll sale?

According to reports Liverpool have agreed a fee of £15 million for the permanent transfer of Andy Carroll to West Ham where he has been on loan this season.

Carroll cost the Reds £35 million just two years ago in 2011 but failed to repay the faith shown in him by manager Kenny Dalglish and, following the arrival of new manager Brendan Rodgers, the English centre-forward was told he was surplus to requirements at Anfield.

He was promptly loaned out to West Ham for this season where he has begun to resuscitate his career which is unlikely to be found on Merseyside and recent reports have suggested the two clubs have now agreed on a fee of £15 million.

What, how and who should Brendan Rodgers buy with £15 million? Obviously the club has lost an overall £20 million but it seems likely they’ll be happy to cut their losses with the player they purchased from Newcastle hailed as the next England number 9.

That £15 million is cash now, to add to this year's balance sheets, or more likely to be spent on players.

Ideally, Rodgers ought to re-invest the cash back into his strike-force and go out and buy a quality forward to add depth. He already has a world-class forward in Luis Suarez and January signing Daniel Sturridge made a very decent start to his Kop career this year.

Meanwhile, young Fabio Borini awaits his chance to strut his stuff at Anfield after a long and disappointing injury layoff scuppered his chances this term, a broken foot in October 2012 meant the 22-year-old missed three months at the start of the season and a dislocated shoulder meant he missed 3 months of action in 2013.

However, assuming he gets a decent pre-season under his belt the Italian is another quality option up front for Rodgers. Meanwhile, another astute January purchase was Philippe Coutinho who has made a strong start and adapted well to the Premier League.

The Brazilian functions as an attacking midfielder, adding creativity and class in abundance to facilitate Rodgers’ brand of free-flowing expansive football. The Reds have a strong defensive department and are unlikely to require any additions there.

Assuming Pepe Reina stays, they don’t need a goalkeeper and the continued development of Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Suso, Raheem Sterling, Jonjo Shelvey, Oussama Assaidi and Stewart Downing means there is enough quality and potential to ensure Steven Gerrard and Lucas don’t carry the team all season.

There could be an argument made for buying a quality winger capable of competing with the players he already has but for £15 million Rodgers could buy another versatile forward option.

Someone along the lines of Hamburg’s Son Heung-Min would likely cost around £10 million or if Rodgers would prefer experience over potential, Barcelona’s David Villa could be available for around that figure.

£15 million is the reported price quoted by Ajax for playmaker Christian Erikssen but with Coutinho, Allen and Gerrard already established in the team there may not be the requirement of his services.

Christian Benteke could likely be lured to Anfield for that price and he could offer a different option to the forward Rodgers already has. He’s 6ft3”, strong, mobile and we all know about his quality in terms of finishing.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Ligue 1 fame netted 21 goals and notched up 16 assists for AS Saint-Etienne this term and, at 23 he’d be a great prospect for the long-term and would likely cost around £10 million.

Alvaro Negredo presents an alternative to David Villa – he’s 27 so a little bit more gas left in the tank and he’s scored 26 goals for Sevilla this season.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling has scored 27 goals and made 10 assists and could be available for a similar price and 24-year old Ivorian Wilfried Bony has scored an incredible 31 goals in 30 games in Eredivisie for Vitesse this season.

There is plenty of food for thought for Rodgers – what may seem like a wasted £20 million on Andy Carroll could turn out to be £15 million made to reinvest in a quality forward to replace him.

image: © andrew_j_w

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