This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
A player many Liverpool fans look back on and groan about is none other than Andy Carroll – a player with a lot of potential but ultimately a painful flop under Anfield management.
Now 31, he joined the Reds in January 2011 as a hopeful replacement for Fernando Torres. Liverpool paid £35m to sign Carroll from Newcastle, which Alan Shearer described as ‘an incredible amount of money’ (via BBC Sport). Alongside the Englishman, former manager Kenny Dalglish also scooped up Luis Suarez – a real chalk and cheese transfer pairing.
Despite the sour taste Suarez has left in the mouths of fans over the years, no one can deny his influence at Liverpool. The Uruguayan pulled the strings of almost every game in which he played, finishing his career at Anfield with a total of 82 goals in 133 appearances (via Transfermarkt).
Who was the biggest Liverpool flop?
Carroll, on the other hand, could only dream of having such a spell with Liverpool. Despite costing £12.3m more than goal machine Suarez, the striker from Gateshead turned out to be nothing more than a lapse in judgement.
Carroll survived less than two seasons at the club and amassed 11 goals and six assists in that time (via Transfermarkt). Not only did he struggle to make an impact in attack, he was ruled out with injury on several occasions. He joined the Reds whilst already carrying a thigh injury and was sidelined for four games upon his arrival (as per Transfermarkt).
After recovering, Carroll played just seven games before picking up another injury. This time he was ruled out with a knee problem and missed the last match of the 2010/11 season, which Liverpool lost (as per Transfermarkt).
The forward had an injury-free second season at Anfield but only managed to net four Premier League goals in 35 appearances. In 2013, Carroll was sold to West Ham for less than half of what Liverpool originally paid out for him. Brendan Rodgers offloaded him for £15m following a loan spell with the Irons.
Ultimately, the signing of Carroll will be one the Liverpool board of the time will want to forget. Not only has he marked his name as one of the Reds’ worst-ever strikers, but he cost the club a net £20m deficit, which was a hefty amount seven years ago.
Luckily for Liverpool, they have now figured out which players should be invested in and which should be avoided at all costs.
What are your worst memories from Andy Carroll’s spell at Liverpool, Reds fans? Join the conversation in the comments below!
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