Although the media’s gaze is currently focused on Luis Suarez and where his future lies, another Liverpool forward is unsure where he will play his football next term also. Andy Carroll has completed a loan spell at West Ham, and showed that he still has what it takes to be a difficult opponent at Premier League level but where will he end up in 2013-14?
Carroll was deemed surplus to requirements by Brendan Rodgers last summer, with Unibet odds suggesting a move away from Anfield in the transfer window for the forward. A loan move to Upton Park followed, where the England international, when not injured, was a major threat for the Hammers.
Seven Premier League goals in 24 games was a solid return by the burly attacker, and it was noticeable that the player’s confidence and belief returned with the more time on the pitch he got. The hold-up play, aerial threat and ability to take chances that saw him become such a success at Newcastle started to return to his play.
It will be interesting now to see if Rodgers is willing to reconsider his initial judgment on Carroll, and give the player another opportunity to prove himself on Merseyside. Rodgers is trying to instill a footballing ethos into his side, while Carroll is seen as a more direct option. Some people call that a Plan B.
Although the signature of Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo is imminent, and Daniel Sturridge was added to the squad in January, Carroll would offer another option. He certainly does not have the guile or fancy footwork of the other attackers at the club and it would perhaps be best for both parties if he were to move on to a new club.
Carroll will have Premier League suitors this summer, and will look to play consistently in the hope of making England’s World Cup squad. What happens to Carroll may also depend on the future of Luis Suarez.
Should the Uruguay international remain at the club, it is hard to see where Carroll fits in. He might have a sliver of hope should Suarez leave, but really, Carroll just isn’t a Rodgers play and would be best advised to move on.