Spending £35milllion, a club transfer record, on a player who has barely six months experience in the Premier League really is a huge gamble. I have no doubt that Newcastle striker Andy Carroll has a great deal of talent and potential, but the amount Liverpool will have to pay for him is still at least £10-15m over what he is worth. A lot of this is of course down to the January transfer window. Clubs do not want to sell players mid way through a season if they can help it, and certainly not Newcastle who have been trying to resist the overtures from the likes of Spurs and the Reds over the last few months for their talented, young, local player. Considering also that it is the last few hours of the transfer window, and that the Magpies will have no time to replace him, the asking price has probably gone up by £5-10m just for that fact alone.
When I first heard about the news this morning that Liverpool had offered money for the striker, I was somewhat surprised. Although it was clear that Ajax striker Luis Suarez wasn’t coming to replace Fernando Torres, as the deal was already on the cards well before the Spaniard’s desire to leave became known, Suarez would have been efficient at least until the summer when the club could reassess the situation and look at other options on the market. Many will see the move for Carroll as a panic buy after potentially losing our Spanish talisman to league rivals Chelsea, and we would have used the best part of two thirds of the funds from Torres’s sale, on what many will see as an unproven player.
From the outside then, the move seems to be an absolute insane gamble. From inside Melwood however, I am betting that Liverpool might be pretty happy that they have managed to pull off a deal for Carroll. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Manchester United paid £26m for a 18 year old, who had the best part of 1 and half seasons in the top flight with Everton. United could have been seen to have been taking a big gamble even then despite Rooney’s undoubted talent and potential. He could have flopped once at Old Trafford but he didn’t as Alex Ferguson and his staff had assessed the player and felt they had taken a worthwhile gamble.
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