Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has recently dismissed speculation regarding a possible return to Newcastle for former striker Andy Carroll. The speculation does create some good questions though: Should Newcastle bring him back and would he even be welcomed back on Tyneside?
There was a time, just a year ago, when hopeful Newcastle fans would draw faint comparisons between their current No. 9 —at that point Andy Carroll—and the legends who had come before him wearing that very shirt. Today, though, the name doesn't mean quite as much and the number has essentially been retired until the next worthy suitor comes along.
At the moment, Newcastle are in need of a striker in the coming weeks to replace the prolific Demba Ba, who is currently on international duty with Senegal. Based on that, and the fact that Ashley is often unwilling to spend much on players, a loan move would make sense. Carroll would be given a chance to prove himself once again to Alan Pardew and the Newcastle fans before a full decision could be made in the summer.
It's unlikely that Carroll would re-gain his No. 9 shirt—these things have to be earned—but I'm sure I'm not the only Newcastle fan who still has a soft spot for Andy. It's hard to tell whether or not he was at fault for his departure or if it was solely a decision from Mike Ashley. Based on his past, Ashley seems to be the likely cause of the break-up.
Signing Carroll does come with some downfalls, though. Think back and you'll remember a bit of friction between Carroll and centre-half Steven Taylor over a certain text message. Additionally, Carroll has had his fair share of off-the-field issues, putting together a tally of incidents bettered only by Joey Barton.
Admittedly, it would be nice to see Carroll back in a Newcastle shirt but, after making good use of a small portion of the £35 million they got in return for him, Newcastle have really moved on since those days. Ba is the star now, and slowly but surely, Alan Pardew is building a Champions League-quality squad. Unless a loan (or a transfer under £5 million) is possible, Newcastle should steer clear of Carroll. The money would be better spent on some more hidden, young talent who buy into the positive direction the club is moving in right now.