Sunderland Transfer News: Could Carroll Be the Ideal Transfer to the Black Cats?
While a trip to London or a trip back to Newcastle seem to be his only current options out of Liverpool right now, other clubs should also be placing Andy Carroll on their transfer radar, especially Sunderland.
The Black Cats' forward line is missing a guaranteed goalscorer after Asamoah Gyan left the club last September to play for Al Ain in the UAE.
Luckily, a month before Gyan's shock departure, Steve Bruce drafted Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner. Bendtner was able to provide some sort of credible attacking threat, but eight goals in 29 league appearances last season showed that Sunderland still lacked a top quality goalscorer.
Stephan Sessegnon's seven strikes helped a great deal during his first full season at the stadium of light, while Sebastian Larsson and James McLean, rejuvenated under new boss O'Neil in the latter half of the season, became major threats on the Sunderland's flanks.
With Bendtner returning to Arsenal this season, Sunderland have just Fraizer Campbell, Connor Wickham and Dong-Won Ji who they can call their strikers. O'Neil needs to invest in a striker.
Enter Andy Carroll.
Liverpool, as we all know, are ready to let the towering striker leave, and now we know the price.
£19 million is the figure that Liverpool desire before they'll let their faded star leave Anfield. But, for Sunderland, it might be worth it.
Carroll would be a perfect fit for the Black Cats with his size and aerial ability. Larsson and McLean are quality Premier League wingers and a monster of a man like Carroll would provide an easy target to pick out from the wings.
Sessegnon playing behind him would take away the need for creative play from Carroll with the ball at his feet, and would provide quick support as the big man holds the ball up in the final third.
Unlike his partnership with Luis Suarez, Sessegnon would be less attack minded, leaving Carroll to be the only man hanging an opponents back line and removing the need for him to drop as deep as he does for Liverpool.
Carroll, it seems, doesn't want to move to London so Sunderland would fit the strikers geographical requirements. The addition of Carroll would be a great snub to their local rivals, Newcastle, who are keen to bring their prodigal son back to the Sports Direct Stadium.
The only thing stopping O'Neil from making this move would be Carroll's price tag of £19 million. It is still a hefty sum of money, and one that most clubs wouldn't want to risk on someone who currently isn't a top goalscorer in the Premier League.
O'Neil has never spent big money on his clubs and has only broken the £10 million mark with four of his signings. The most he's ever paid for a player was about £13 million, when he brought James Milner to Aston Villa from Newcastle, but in general, the Irishman doesn't like to open his wallet too wide.
Maybe this summer O'Neil should think about letting lose on the purse strings to bring in a big money transfer. The pair could be a match made in heaven. O'Neil knows how to get the best out of players, rejuvenating the will and desire of players lacking in confidence.
Just look at what he did at Sunderland last season.
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