Liverpool Rumor: Andy Carroll Set to Be Loaned out Next Season
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Carroll has been underwhelming since arriving at Anfield for $56.6 million (US) in January of last year.
For their investment, Liverpool have gotten a return of just 10 goals in the striker's 52 appearances.
Contrast that with the 11 goals Carroll scored in the first half of the 2011 season while playing for Newcastle and it's clear that something hasn't gone according to plan.
Reds' boss Kenny Dalglish is entering a crucial summer for his long-term prospects.
Liverpool have fallen apart over the second half of the Premier League season. Were it not for success in the domestic cup competitions, King Kenny might have already been relieved of his post.
The problems at Anfield are almost entirely down to an impotent attack. While only two teams can boast as stingy a defensive record as Liverpool this season, the Reds have managed just 40 goals in 34 matches to this point.
When the transfer market opens, the embattled Dalglish will be targeting several men he hopes can bolster that number significantly.
Three strikers should top his shopping list.
Valencia's Roberto Soldado is a prolific striker in La Liga having netted 27 times across all competitions for Spain's third-place team.
There's also the little matter of his February hat trick against Venezuela in just his second appearance for the Spanish national team. The feat is all the more impressive because Soldado was brought on as a second-half substitute.
Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente will be very familiar to English fans after helping his side dismantle Manchester United in the Europa League.
Llorente brings the height and power so coveted in Carroll, but adds the ability to play the intricate passing game Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa demands. He's combined those skills to produce 28 goals for the Basque club this term, including this wonder-strike against United.
Who would you most like to see at Liverpool next season?
David Texeira is a Uruguayan playing his first season of European football with FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie.
In just 13 appearances, Texeira's scored nine times, which puts him just about equal with Carroll in terms of production while having played just a quarter the number of games.
What's It Mean for Carroll
If Soldado or Llorente arrive at Anfield, Carroll will immediately be relegated to the substitutes' bench. He simply isn't good enough to compete with either of the Spanish forwards for a starting spot.
But Dalglish won't want to have all that money sitting there rotting on the bench. Carroll will have to go out on loan.
If the 21-year-old Texeira arrives, Carroll could stay at Liverpool next season. But unless his form improves drastically, it would prove hard to keep the younger man out of the team.
In the event Liverpool lands more than one of their targeted strikers, Carroll should start packing his bags immediately. The Kop won't miss him a bit.
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