Why Is Andy Carroll Suddenly The Biggest Misfit In The Premiership?

He only left 18 months ago yet Andy Carroll could soon find himself playing football again on Tyneside. With new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers explicitly stating that Carroll does not fit in his plans, Newcastle have emerged as the favourites to re-sign their former striker.

According to the Daily Mail, manager Alan Pardew has pleaded with owner Mike Ashley to recapture the unsettled England international.

Having already rejecting one bid from the North East side, Liverpool are thought to want a permanent deal worth around £20m. Mike Ashley’s resolve will surely be tested over the upcoming days, as pressure is mounting from other interested parties including newly promoted West Ham and an AC Milan side sans Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Two questions have to be asked about this deal in my view – is it the right move for Liverpool? And is it the right move for Newcastle?

Rodgers’ has been criticized early on in his Anfield tenure for the complete dismissal of what Carroll could bring to his Liverpool side. Although the striker started his career on Merseyside slowly, a series of impressive performances led to a place in the England squad at Euro 2012, where he also shone. At only 23 years old, Carroll has plenty of upside which many Liverpool fans were looking forward to seeing in the 2012/2013 season, something which now seems a dwindling reality.

Yet in fact this is simply shrewd business from the Liverpool boss. Rodgers’ knows that Carroll will not fit into the style of play he wishes to introduce at Anfield – despite impressive performances in his career, Carroll has never been renowned for his gifted feet. So why not sell now after an impressive European Championships, instead of waiting until January when his value has significantly reduced?

Liverpool are simply trying to recuperate as much of the £35m fee they paid 18 months ago as possible.

For Newcastle? One would immediately applaud the move by Pardew and Ashley. Rebuy a striker at a profit of around £15m? A piece of genius according to most people, especially for a traditional number 9 like Carroll (a rare breed in top tier football these days). Newcastle fans seem happy to welcome back the player who they believed had ‘sold out’ not so long ago.

Yet what people forget is that Newcastle, like Carroll, have changed in the last 18 months. Under Pardew the football has become more flowing, more skilful than the long ball operation when Carroll was around. Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have been a prolific duo upfront for the Magpies, with the creative influence of Yohann Cabaye flourishing in such a set up.

As an individual Carroll is a good player, however questions will have to be asked as to whether he will fit in Newcastle’s developed system. Having to prove himself all over again Tyneside may be too much for the England man, especially after being cast by the wayside at Anfield.

If Carroll can overcome this demoralization then he could be a great player once again in a Newcastle shirt. However Geordies shouldn’t get too excited too quickly, as their former number 9 will have to significantly adapt to the Magpies new style of play if he is to succeed. After all, he is no Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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