West Ham are poised to call time on Andy Carroll’s injury-plagued career in east London and will put him up for sale when the transfer window reopens in January, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
Newcastle – 27/10 to beat Stoke in their next outing – are said to be interested in taking him back, but will only pay £8m and will demand he drops his alleged £85,000-a-week wages.
It seems unlikely taking such a financial hit would appeal to the player, while selling at a sizeable loss doesn’t seem necessary, especially considering how much Carroll has to offer the Hammers.
His seemingly endless amount of injury setbacks are frustrating, but he made over 25 league appearances in three straight seasons before moving to Upton Park.
A 24-game campaign in his first year with Sam Allardyce’s snapped this streak, but he demonstrated how valuable his unique approach to forward play is during this spell.
His haul of seven goals in the 2012/13 season was hardly prolific, but the fact that West Ham managed just 44 provides minor mitigation.
When the four assists he made are factored into the equation, Carroll’s direct involvement in Irons goals rises to 11, meaning he was responsible for a quarter of their tally.
In truth, this could’ve been much higher had Allardyce not adopted his safety-first approach, which often left the Gateshead battering ram isolated up top.
The expansive, more attack-minded strategy the jowly gaffer has been bullied into deploying would furnish Carroll with far more opportunities to score and create goals.
There’s plenty more to his game than the roughhousing, hustle and bustle that he’s famed for too.
In the campaign in question – the last in which Carroll dodged the sick bay for long periods – he averaged 1.4 key passes per match.
This may not sound like much (David Silva of Manchester City averaged 3.3, for example) but when you consider that Carroll completed a little over 60 per cent of his passes per outing it reads as a relatively impressive stat.
It indicates that when he does find a teammate, they tend to be in dangerous positions.
So with West Ham looking for an identity re-design into something more marketable, selling such a prominent threat of goals for little simply doesn’t make sense.