Should Newcastle sign Andy Carroll?

Andy Carroll

The West Ham striker has been strongly linked with a return to his hometown club in January, but does the move make sense?

Reports emerging from several sources, including The Mirror, suggest Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has earmarked a move for Andy Carroll in January. But some doubt it would be the best move for the Magpies, given the striker's history since leaving Tyneside.

Ravaged by injuries

Since signing for Liverpool back in January 2011 for a whopping £35 million, as covered by the BBC, Carroll has failed to live up to his potential due to an unfortunate series of injuries.

The 26-year-old made a total of 58 appearances for the Reds, scoring just 11 goals, before leaving for London at a hefty loss in 2012.

Carroll has had a similar experience at Upton Park, managing to make only 37 appearances in the last three years. Consistent injuries, ranging from busted ligaments in his ankle and knee to heel and hamstring problems, have stunted the growth of one of England’s most promising strikers.

McClaren must have doubts as to whether Carroll can overcome these persistent setbacks and ultimately decide whether the gamble is worth it or not.

Cost

West Ham will certainly look to recoup as much of the £15 million they paid for Carroll in 2013, as reported by the BBC, not to mention the £2 million loan fee stumped out for him the year before.

After spending over £50 million this summer, Newcastle will look for the most cost-effective deal possible should it happen. A coming together of these two factors could result in a breakdown of negotiations between both parties.

The Magpies’ wage bill has been in the black since their return to the Premier League in 2010 and owner Mike Ashley will be keen to keep it that way. Carroll will most certainly have to take a wage cut should he reunite with his former employers.

Discipline

Newcastle fans know all too well of the striker's colourful past, which has seen him get into trouble on and off the field

The England international has since claimed he has changed his ways. Newcastle will be aware of what they are getting themselves into should they opt to sign him.

What can he offer?

Carroll’s 6’4” frame is deployed to bring down high balls for those around him, and he is renowned for his hold up play.

Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is slightly shorter at 6’2” but has demonstrated that he is able to both bring balls down and hold up the game, leading many to question why Steve McClaren would opt for such a similar striker in Carroll.

When comparing their records, the edge goes to Mitrovic, who at five years younger than Carroll, has scored 71 goals in 168 professional appearances against Carroll’s 60 goals in 222 outings.

In addition, Mitrovic’s blossoming striker partnership with youngster Ayoze Perez could be disrupted with the mid-season signing of another forward who would expect to play from the get go.

Many think the money could be spent better elsewhere, given Newcastle’s consistent fragility in defence.

The signing of Carroll is also a gamble that Newcastle may not need to take given the potential availability of a more dependable striker, QPR’s Charlie Austin, next summer.

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