Liverpool.

The powerful centre-forward was deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield and was allowed to depart the club on loan to West Ham.

It was believed that Clint Dempsey was close to joining the Merseysiders as a replacement, but the Reds refused to meet Fulham’s financial demands.

Fergie believes that his rivals were naïve to allow Carroll to leave without a replacement secured:

“They were after Clint Dempsey, that didn’t work out, and they had done the deal for Carroll,” he is quoted by The Metro.

“Maybe it was something they did not expect.

“With the manager being young, maybe he expected the deal to go through and then it was not there and he had lost a player, too.”

The Red Devils boss went on to suggest that he would never have parted with the £35m fee Liverpool paid to sign Carroll from Newcastle:

“He’d played not a lot of games for Newcastle and had to deal with a £35m transfer to a club like Liverpool,

“He was young and it was quite a big jump for him for that kind of money. We’ve gambled on young players in the past, a couple of million, something like that.

“But when you get to that level of £35m, you need to do a bit more homework and see how he is in the second season, maybe.”

He did confess that the forward may be a threat during Manchester United’s mid-week clash with the Hammers:

“Now it’s up to the boy to improve himself. He’s a great header of the ball and very aggressive. He’ll be a handful on Wednesday.”

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