Liverpool Transfer Talk: Should Kenny Dalglish Consider Ditching Andy Carroll?
After smashing the record transfer fee for any British football player, Liverpool FC were setting their sights high upon Andy Carroll’s arrival.
He was supposed to bring grit, strength and an aerial presence to the Red’s front line after the controversial departure of Fernando Torres. Carroll was coming off a stellar breakthrough campaign with Newcastle United, and it was all a matter of time before a giant club came knocking.
Fast forward to today, and everything is not going to plan.
Carroll has experienced a turbulent start to his life as a Merseysider and finds himself glued to the bench. Kenny Dalglish has seen his pricey purchase fail to fill his role at LFC and has subsequently seen his playing time diminish.
Many fans are questioning his inclusion in the first team, considering the form of Luis Suarez, Dirk Kuyt and even Craig Bellamy pushes Carroll further and further down the pecking order.
Supporters of the club are even going as far as calling him a bust, something I will refrain from saying for the time being.
With all the news surrounding the young British striker, questions are starting to circulate in regards to his future.
Should LFC think about parting ways with their record striker?
While I don’t see the Reds realistically parting ways with the striker just yet, having the urge to dump failed expenditures is pretty common, especially in today’s footballing world.
But Carroll is young, gifted and full of potential, and he is not even halfway through the season. Giving up on the lad seems a bit harsh and unintelligent, plus Dalglish and his coaching staff are too smart to throw away Carroll after a few poor performances.
Times are changing though and the patience of fans grows thinner and thinner as teams shell out huge cash for players.
If life appears too much to handle at Anfield come January, here are three teams that could offer the striker some salvation and three players fitted to replace him if he exits.
1. Newcastle United
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Currently sitting fourth place in the league, it appears Newcastle United have put their summer of drama behind them.
Although they have had some big names exit the club (Carroll included), they have compensated for their losses and are looking quite strong at the moment.
Boasting the stingiest defense in the league, Newcastle has relied on timely play to secure some positive results. Strikers like Demba Ba, Shola Ameobi and Leon Best have combined for eight goals and are a hungry trio with underrated quality.
Carroll’s rise to stardom began at Newcastle and his admiration and appreciation for the Magpies was clear during his short time at St. James’ Park. The club showed great support for the troubled striker during well documented off-field instances, a sign of respect and loyalty to the young man.
If Newcastle continues this form into January and are looking to reinforce their attacking core, bringing back Carroll could help push toward a Champions League spot and reignite his short career.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Arsenal are starting to turn their season around after some recent results, but they are far off their goals of competing for the league and in Europe.
The Gunners and the Magpies shared an eerily similar summer when they saw some big names head out of their respective locker rooms.
But the players Arsenal lost were a step above the ones Newcastle lost, and as a result, the quality of play at the Emirates dropped at the beginning of the season.
Yet the biggest concern as of late for Arsene Wenger’s squad is the cloudy future of captain Robin Van Persie. Hesitant to sign a new contract, the Dutch international is in dazzling form and is currently the biggest goal threat for the Gunners.
If they lose RVP, they will need a capable replacement that can take a body, win balls in the air and score consistently. Carroll is tipped to do such a thing and he could certainly be a viable alternative for Wenger if need be.
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Spurs are also beginning to find a bit of fortune in the league after bouncing in and out of the relegation zone a majority of the season.
Harry Redknapp’s squad is thin on strikers and it will be up to him to bring in some depth come January.
Jermaine Defoe is the only clear-cut striker that has a permanent place in the first team. Emmanuel Adebayor is on loan from Manchester City and Roman Pavlyuchenko is searching for new endeavors, so having another feature striker is important for the club if they expect to compete domestically and in Europe.
Carroll’s value on the transfer market has definitely decreased since his move to Anfield, so finding the right price for the striker might be within Redknapp’s means. Perhaps a bid in the range of £15 million to £18 million might convince Dalglish to cut their losses and part ways with Carroll.
There is no doubt that the England international could find immediate success with Spurs, because he will jump into the fold of the first team right away. Considering how desperate Spurs are for some more forwards, this idea could pan out pretty well for all parties.
1. Hugo Rodallega
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Looking at feasible replacements if Carroll were to depart, the Wigan striker was linked with a move to Anfield all summer and could still yet make a switch.
And although talks with the Colombian to stay at the DW have strengthened, perhaps a big move to Liverpool might make the 26-year-old reconsider.
Rodallega is a tricky forward with pace and an eye for goal. His crucial strike against Stoke last May ensured the Latics would play another year of Premier League football.
Rodallega has the experience needed to come in to this Liverpool side, and Dalglish is a manager that could mold the striker even further. At this point in his career, sealing a transfer to a larger club is exactly what he may need to amp his game.
2. Fernando Llorente
David Ramos/Getty Images
Of all the players linked with LFC of late, Fernando Llorente is the biggest name on that list.
The Bilbao striker is a hot commodity at the moment, and jumping across the English Channel to Merseyside can happen if the future if some details are worked out.
Llorente has seen his stock rise within the Spanish National team, and his place in the squad has forced former Red Fernando Torres to experience an international exile. He is a big forward who works well paired up front and also as a lone striker.
If Dalglish feels the desire to ship away the inconsistent Carroll, Llorente is a bigger, stronger, more lethal version of the boy who could add plenty to the Reds.
After Porto experienced so much success last season, Brazilian striker Hulk was rumored to be on his way to Anfield with his strike partner Radamel Falcao.
Falcao has since moved to Atletico Madrid and Hulk stayed in Portugal, but that doesn’t rule out the idea of Liverpool landing the 25-year-old.
Like Llorente, Hulk has had his national team come calling after turning in some scintillating displays for the Portuguese champs. His price tag is pretty excessive according to his club’s president, but judging by their past transfer activity, never rule Liverpool out.
If Carroll is indeed expendable, restoring the interest in Hulk should begin as soon as possible because he is hitting the prime of his career.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
In all honesty, I don’t think Carroll is going anywhere.
Yet with the latest rumors surrounding Liverpool and the growing concerns about his lack of progress, there is plenty to discuss.
Carroll has time on his side fortunately, and at 22 years old, he should be hitting the ground running in the near future. Dalglish should accept the challenge of turning the striker around.
There is nothing that brings the confidence back to a striker than finding the back of the net. It doesn’t matter what kind of goals you score (ask Javier Hernandez). An in-form striker finds the net by any means necessary.
Carroll needs to take a hard glimpse in the mirror and identify his ambitions at Liverpool. Does he want to get back to playing and validate his huge price tag, or is he content with riding the pine until January and perhaps requesting a move?
These are things Liverpool fans want to know the answers to as soon as possible, because Luis Suarez needs someone to partner him. The Reds are no longer in a rebuilding stage and are anxious to begin competing for the league once again.
And in typical Carroll fashion, he is once again dominating the headlines and conversations. These decisions are the hardest part of Dalglish’s job and if Carroll continues this slide, the months leading up to January will definitely be tense for the red half of Liverpool.