It seems as though NUFC are linked with a move for former number nine Andy Carroll every single year. This summer, it seems slightly more plausible as the now veteran striker is out of contract. We all know Mr Ashley loves a freebie…
Normally, I’m firmly against the club signing Carroll but this time it’s a bit different. Newcastle are in a precarious position squad wise – with new boy Joelinton and Dwight Gayle the only recognised first team strikers in the squad. It seems as though head coach Steve Bruce has a choice between £8m rated Charlie Austin or Andy Carroll – battle of the sick notes eh?
At 30-years-old, Carroll is merely a few months older than Austin, but Austin has a slightly better goal scoring record. With 37 goals from 106 Premier League appearances, Austin averages 0.32 goals per matches. Carroll has 53 from 211 Premier League appearances – that’s 0.25 goals per game.
The thing Carroll has on his side, as well as being free, is his connection to the club. He’s a lad that grew up in Gateshead, not five minutes from where I’m writing this article, supporting Newcastle United. He broke through the ranks at United too, making his mark in the Championship in the 2009/10 season – he scored 19 goals in 42 appearances that year.
NUFC gets an old boy back
The following year, having helped fire Newcastle back to the Premier League, Carroll scored 11 goals in 20 games before Liverpool came knocking in January. On deadline day, Carroll signed for Liverpool for a (then) staggering £35million.
Having forced through a move to the Merseyside club, it’s fair to say Carroll hasn’t exactly been the most popular man on Tyneside since he left. With regular booes whenever he returns to SJP, the Geordie crowd do not forget. However, when this story hit the papers this summer, there were a lot of fans saying they thought it’d be a good idea. As you might expect, there are plenty opposed to the deal too but the fan base seem to be split right down the middle with this one.
Personally, I think it’s a smart move – not just for the club, but for Carroll too. With his injury record, he certainly can’t go to any club and ask for a large, fully guaranteed wage packet similar to the one he was on at West Ham. He’s going to have to be realistic – especially if Newcastle is his preferred landing spot.
The wise move would be an initial one year pas-as-you-play deal in which Carroll would only be eligible for his weekly wage packet if he is in the matchday squad. This gives him a year to prove his fitness as well as his form – if he can manage it, put a clause in his contract that gives the option for a further year, fully guaranteed. Either that or simply hand him a new contract entirely.
That’s the only way this deal can be financially feasible from an NUFC point of view. They aren’t in the game of paying near £100k per week to a bit part player who may or may not spend the entire season on the treatment table. As I said before, if this is indeed a move that Carroll wants to happen, which some newspaper reports would suggest is the case, he needs to be realistic with his demands.
Personally, I’d be pleased with this move. I see Carroll doing well for NUFC off the bench and in the cups should he sign. What do you think? If you were NUFC would you re-sign Andy Carroll?