Do Liverpool really need Andy Carroll? He’s a big, strong England striker with his whole career ahead of him and a great goal-scoring record I hear you say. But what’s the other side of the argument? Here are five reasons why Liverpool would be better off leaving the cheque book unopened and the Geordie in Newcastle.
1. The Price
If Newcastle won’t accept £23m for a striker with just half a decent season in the Premier League to his name, then Liverpool should not be held to ransom. Talk of £30m is way over the odds when you consider his unproven record and his off-field problems. The usually shrewd Daniel Levy looks to have shied away from the perennial problem of inflated prices for British talent, while Liverpool’s new owners would have to be Abramovich-esque in their generosity to stump up £23m for Suarez and £30m for Carroll in the just a matter of days, leaving any potential income from the Torres transfer spent before it’s arrived.
2. The Not-so-Private Life
If you’re paying a figure around £30m for a player, you need to know he’s a dedicated professional, focused on his career. One of the main reasons football managers are such admirers of Paul Scholes, aside from his playing skill, is because he’s the archetypal professional. Trains hard, keeps his head down, avoids the limelight and just gets on with his game. Carroll carries himself rather differently; with multiple charges of assault already to his name, a judge insisting he move in with his club captain and a flaming Range Rover in the drive, Carroll’s personal indiscipline would make him a disaster waiting to happen in the limelight of Liverpool or London.
Yes Carroll has done well this season in the league, but half a season as first choice striker should not a British record equalling transfer potentially make. Carroll performed well in the Championship last season, but form in the second tier cannot be used as a reason for a transfer of this magnitude. Experience counts and unfortunately for Newcastle, Carroll’s status as a relative rookie does not go in his club’s favour when it comes to demanding huge sums for his services from the likes of Liverpool and Spurs.
4. Don’t Need Him
Form is temporary. For Tottenham the lack of goals from their strikers is only in the league, with decent efforts in the cups (yesterday excluded), and everybody knows how lethal Defoe can be when he hits form. Crouch may have been poor so far in the league, but the goals he’s set up for others, particularly Van der Vaart should be taken into account. Equally, Pavlyuchenko has done well in the games he’s played and his finishing is often outstanding. The forwards may appear to be struggling, but strikers are hugely affected by confidence and as we know, often when one goes in, a flood of goals will follow. Maybe Spurs should be patient and back the strikers they already have. As for Liverpool, they’ve just spent £23m on Suarez, an amazing prospect with a fantastic goal-scoring record and a hunger to succeed; set him free in a 4-3-3 with Kuyt and Cole either side.
5. Panic Buy
Despite the increasingly popular fashion for deadline day dealings, the rush of forcing through a signing at the end of the window smacks of desperation and rash decision-making. Rafael Van der Vaart’s signing for Tottenham in August is an exception because a) the player was of proven international quality & b) it was an extraordinarily good deal financially; buying Carroll for £30m fulfils neither condition. Instead of frantically paying over the odds for the sake of a January addition, Liverpool should wait until the summer, bide their time and choose the right striker for the right price, not the perhaps striker for the wrong price.
Agree? Disagree? Happy? Furious? Let me know, follow me on Twitter: @stuartcfootball
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