Summer Transfer Rumors: What Is so Special About Andy Carroll?

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 14:  Andy Carroll of England looks on during a UEFA EURO 2012 training session at the Olympic Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Andy Carroll is back in the news again because the Englishman is rumored to be attracting interest from other clubs.

Independent.co.uk suggested Tuesday that AC Milan would be interested in bringing the Liverpool striker to the San Siro on loan.

On Wednesday, another reported suitor, West Ham United, was linked with Carroll in the Daily Mail.

As an outside observer of the Carroll situation, one has to ask why is there so much interest in an underperforming player like Carroll from big clubs?

Carroll was once one of England's most promising players when he broke through with Newcastle United during the 2009-10 campaign in the Championship.

After helping his former club to promotion to the Premier League, Carroll got off to a great start during the 2010-11 season with 11 Premier League goals in 19 games.

Then it all went downhill.

Carroll shocked everyone when he moved to Liverpool in January 2011 for a record transfer fee, both for an English player and for a Liverpool player.

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Ever since his move to Anfield, Carroll has been a huge disappointment.

The 23-year-old did not play much at the end of the 2010-11 season because of injury, but he did play a full slate of games—47, to be exact—in all competitions last season.

In those 47 matches, Carroll scored a whopping nine goals, which roughly equates to one goal every five games.

That lack of efficiency is one any striker would not enjoy, and for a regular player, it would not gain attention from high-profile clubs but rather from lower-level clubs offering the player a lifeline to his career.

Of the two clubs linked with Carroll, AC Milan should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the underachiever, and West Ham should be going after strikers who actually score goals.

West Ham are thinking that a move for Carroll and reuniting him with former teammate Kevin Nolan would do him good, but that is the only plausible reason to go after him.

If the Hammers were doing smart business, they would look to add a striker who could come off the bench and help the team score goals along with Premier League veteran Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te.

Carroll would be better off either staying at Liverpool and fighting for his place in the squad under new manager Brendan Rodgers or going down to a club in the Championship on loan and getting his confidence back for a few months, or even for a whole season.

The good news for Carroll in all of this is that he is still only 23 and he has plenty of time to have a successful career in English football.

However, for the good of his confidence and his future with the English national team, Carroll is better off getting out of the Anfield spotlight for now, but not at a prestigious club like AC Milan or a club looking to fight for a place in the Premier League like West Ham.

Both potential suitors will gain a ton of attention in their respective countries, and as we have seen with Carroll in the past, he thrived when he was out of the spotlight at Newcastle United in the Championship.

The only way the once-special prospect Andy Carroll will get back to his Newcastle form is if he leaves Liverpool and flies under the radar once again before another Premier League club spends too much on the English striker yet again.

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