With the news coming yesterday that West Ham and Liverpool had a greed a $23 million fee for striker Andy Carroll, all the Hammers need now is a signature from the 24-year-old England striker.
But Carroll’s reluctance is telling.
The bustling forward has, once again, struggled with injury this season whilst on loan at Upton Park from Liverpool. But when he has played, Carroll has done well.
He has fitted into West Ham’s tactics of getting the ball wide and delivering crosses for him and Kevin Nolan to attack and that type of direct play is where he will flourish. He scored seven goals in 24 games for the Hammers, much better than his total of 11 in 57 appearances for Liverpool.
Earlier today Carroll pulled out of England’s squad for the friendlies against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland through injury.
A timely reminder of how susceptible the target forward is to many ailments.
But he has proven this season that he can cut it in the EPL, with many lambasting him during his spell at Liverpool after his $50 million plus transfer from Newcastle United.
So should he head back to parent club Liverpool? Or stay at West Ham? Or go somewhere else entirely?
First and foremost, returning to Liverpool would not be a good option. Their style doesn’t suit Carroll’s bruising forward play and Brendan Rodgers has definitely planned for next season without Carroll. But who knows.
West Ham, as we mentioned, are the best fit for Carroll in the EPL. But the forward — who arrived on the scene with such a bang as he guided Newcastle back to the EPL and impressed in his first season in the top flight — wants key to reignite his career at a top six club.
Can any of those teams offer that? Maybe David Moyes would take him at Manchester United but more likely is Newcastle United offering him a chance to return home to the North East. But second comings aren’t always the blessing they promise to be.
Newcastle suits Carroll’s style. The amount of headed chances Cisse has missed for them up top this season always springs visions, in my mind at least, of Carroll leaping into the air in the black and white stripes and burying them past the ‘keeper. He is made for Newcastle. But it seems as if he’s moved on to bigger and better things, at least in his mind.
What about Stoke City? You don’t get much more of a direct style than Stoke’s. But with Tony Pulis heading out of the door earlier today, Carroll should wait for the new manager to arrive before deciding.
It seems a smart move on his part to bide his time, wait for the right club to come calling and most importantly wait for a club that wants to utilize him in the best way possible.