West Ham perma-crock Andy Carroll may not want to admit it, but he would stand a much better chance of playing at Euro 2016 by sporting the black and white of first club Newcastle again.
The nine-cap England forward is reportedly unmoved by whispers of a switch back to his hometown team, with Carroll thought to be determined to regain his place at the Boleyn Ground upon return from injury next month, but ultimately eyeing a Three Lions recall.
Carroll sticking with West Ham through next summer’s transfer window is available at 2/5 with bwin.com, while it’s 5/1 on the 25-year-old becoming a Geordie once more by 02/09/15 and 2/1 that he joins any other club.
The passion-starved Newcastle faithful wouldn’t be able to help getting behind one of their own, especially one who scored 11 goals in 19 Premier League games during the first half of the 2010/11 campaign.
Unfortunately for Carroll, it’s clear that West Ham hold better options up front than the man Liverpool paid £35m for less than half a decade ago.
Diafra Sakho has notched in each of his last five games under Sam Allardyce, who admitted he expected much less from the former Metz man so soon after paying the relatively insignificant sum of £3.5m for his services over the summer.
Enner Valencia certainly hasn’t lived up to his £15m fee yet, but the Ecuadorian did open his Irons account with a thunderbolt against Hull and will be given plenty of time to settle in the Premier League.
Add in 27-year-old former Inter Milan and Lazio man Mauro Zarate, who picked up Premier League experience with Birmingham six years ago and has already bagged for his new side against Crystal Palace, and Carroll’s route to the first team seems well and truly blocked.
Of course, the 6ft3in target man could be kept around for reversions to a more direct, some would say Allardyce-esque, Plan B, for when the quick counter-attacks just won’t come off and long-ball tactics become a virtue.
That seems unlikely, as such an arrangement wouldn’t allow Carroll requisite time on the pitch to make a convincing case for his return to the England camp, which will have begun planning in earnest for the announcement of Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2016 by the start of next season.
For that reason, Andy Carroll would be best served by heading home in January.