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With interest in Andy Carroll hotting up, we examine which move would be best for Liverpool’s £35 million man.
The Hammers are reportedly prepared to break their transfer record – and the bank – to land Carroll for £15 million and there are certainly signs that he could flourish at Upton Park, under the guidance of ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce.
While Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers favours a passing game – and is therefore prepared to ship out the Geordie powerhouse – Allardyce’s teams are renowned for adopting a long-ball style.
The former Bolton boss got the best out of Kevin Davies, who was a huge success under Allardyce at the Reebok, and Carroll’s physicality and ariel threat could be used with devastating effect for the Hammers.
What’s more, Carroll’s former friend, teammate and house-mate Kevin Nolan is currently captain at Upton Park and the England striker may fancy a reunion with his old pal.
However, Carroll should be aware that Allardyce’s battering-rams rarely get international recognition, with Davies accumulating a one solitary England cap despite a string of impressive Premier League displays.
A return to Tyneside is, according to the Newcastle Chronicle, Carroll’s preferred choice. The hulking striker reportedly never wanted to leave the Toon in the first place and is a childhood supporter and former season ticket holder at St James’ Park.
From an emotional point of view, it makes perfect sense and, economically, it could hardly be better. Will there ever be a better piece of business if Newcastle re-sign Carroll on loan, with a view to a permanent £15 million deal, after selling him for £35 million just 18 months ago?
If Carroll can rediscover the form that persuaded Liverpool to part with all that money, then it really will be a dream homecoming for the 22-year-old. However, it’s worth remembering that (barring Robin van Persie) Newcastle had the best striker of the first half of last season in Demba Ba, and the best striker of the second half in Papiss Cisse.
Both Senagelese stars have confirmed that they would like to stay at St James’ meaning that, on paper, Carroll would be third choice forward for Alan Pardew’s side.