After parts of three inconsistent seasons with Liverpool, English striker Andy Carroll was loaned to West Ham United this past season. If West Ham is able to negotiate a permanent transfer for Carroll, there is absolutely no reason for the Reds to fret.
According to ESPN, West Ham is closing in on an agreement that would keep Carroll at Upton Park for the foreseeable future. Liverpool reportedly agreed to sell Carroll to West Ham for £15 million back in May.
Carroll still hasn't agreed to the move, but it appears as though he is on the verge of doing so.
At this point, it would be a major upset if Carroll didn't agree to stay at West Ham, as Sky Sports reported that Irons manager Sam Allardyce has called keeping Carroll the club's No. 1 priority.
Sam Allardyce admits that wrapping up a permanent deal for Andy Carroll remains West Ham United's 'first priority'. http://t.co/nPpdNn9dCY— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 11, 2013
It's easy to see why West Ham wants Carroll to remain in the fold, as he provided an offensive spark to a team that struggles to score goals. Carroll netted seven goals in 23 appearances for the Hammers this past season and figures to play an even bigger role next year, provided he stays.
Liverpool had a somewhat disappointing season, as it finished seventh in the EPL, but goalscoring wasn't a problem. The Reds were fourth in the league with 71 tallies, which put them just one behind Arsenal and four behind Chelsea.
Carroll is all about offense, so he really isn't a great fit at Anfield.
Is Liverpool better off without Carroll?
Luis Suarez is the unquestioned offensive leader at Liverpool—provided he stays with the club—and the Reds also have another young striker in the form of Daniel Sturridge. The 23-year-old Sturridge was incredibly productive this past season, with 11 goals in 16 appearances, so he has surpassed Carroll in the pecking order as well.
There is some concern about Sturridge, as The Guardian's Andy Hunter suggested that an ankle injury could cause him to miss the start of next season, but that shouldn't influence Liverpool significantly.
Carroll is as good as gone at this point and it will ultimately be for the best, as his Liverpool career was average at best.
Carroll did show flashes of brilliance with Liverpool, but his production was not regular enough. He ended up with 11 goals in 58 matches with the Reds, and while he admittedly wasn't the focal point of their attack, he needed to do much better with the opportunities he was given.
West Ham doesn't really have a dominant scorer, as midfielder Kevin Nolan led the squad with 10 goals. Carroll was right behind him with seven and he played in 13 fewer matches.
West Ham is a middling team in the EPL right now, so it needs to gamble on young players like Carroll in hopes that they develop into stars.
There is much more of a winning expectation for Liverpool, so the Reds can't afford to wait around for Carroll. The £15 million is far more valuable to Liverpool than Carroll at this point, as it can be used to fill more glaring holes.
The money means nothing unless Liverpool officials spend it intelligently, but it's certainly good to have.
Although there were high hopes for Carroll at Anfield, Liverpool needs to make changes in order to get better. Letting go of Carroll for good isn't necessarily a big change, since he mostly played for West Ham last season anyway, but it would definitely be a move in the right direction.
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