It is often said in sports that a change of scenery can help both the player and the team. Soccer is unique in that, through loans, teams can give their players a change of scenery and then bring them back to reap the benefits. A perfect example of this is Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.
Carroll is a fine player. He is someone who can help any team, which makes West Ham's interest in him perfectly sensible. At age 23, he also has plenty of room to improve. But overall, he is the type of player most teams would covet.
Right now, though, he isn't a perfect fit for his current Liverpool team. If he were, the team and manager Brendan Rodgers would commit to keeping him around. But according to BBC Sport, Liverpool is considering loaning him out to West Ham. And, honestly, it makes sense.
First of all, Liverpool isn't exactly ready to contend for a Premier League championship right now. They were competitive last year, finishing eighth with 52 points, but they simply aren't in a position to challenge teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal.
There is still plenty of time for Liverpool to add players and improve, but short of making a major unforeseen addition, I don't think their status as a non-contender is changing.
With that being the case, getting something for Carroll now seems like the right move. If you aren't going to win the championship, why not make a move that helps you win one in the future?
Obviously, the money from such a move would be helpful, but that isn't what makes this offer tempting for the Reds.
Carroll has had his fair share of maturity issues. He's gained a reputation as a drinker, he's fought with teammates and he has even been charged with assault. While these issues seemed to have died down since joining Liverpool, they don't just go away overnight.
A loan could be just what the doctor ordered for Carroll. Being forced to play on another team for a year could help him mature both as a player and a man.
I'm guessing Liverpool knows this. If they loaned Carroll out, the intention would likely be for him to spend a year refining his game and his personality so that he could come back in a year as a better player and teammate.
That is the type of forward-thinking move contenders make. By sacrificing him for a year, they could get a much better player next season.
While there are plenty of cons to loaning out Andy Carroll, that is the biggest check mark in the pro column. They have chance to help one of their players improve so that they'll have a better shot at contending in the future.
Liverpool should take the hit for a year. They aren't winning the championship anyway. Making moves with an eye towards the future is what will help them eventually win one.