Newcastle have a number of talented academy prospects who are currently fighting to make their way into the first-team at St. James’ Park.
The likes of Joe White, Dylan Stephenson and Elliot Anderson are just a few of the local lads making their way through the youth ranks at the moment, aspiring to emulate those who have come before them.
One of the club’s finest pieces of academy work to date came in the form of towering centre-forward Andy Carroll in the 2000s.
The striker broke through into the first team in the 2006/07 campaign, playing four times in the Premier League for the Magpies. He then spent half of the following season on loan at Preston in the Championship, before truly making his mark at St. James’ Park.
In his first two full seasons in the senior team, Carroll scored 20 goals and provided 13 assists in 53 matches across the top-flight and the second division. He then caught fire in the Premier League under Alan Pardew as he found the back of the net 11 times and produced eight assists in just 19 games at the start of 2010/11.
This incredible run of form caught Liverpool’s attention and they moved to snap him up in the January transfer window for a fee of £36.9m (Transfermarkt).
His big move did not go to plan as he scored 11 goals in 58 games before the flop was shipped off to fellow Premier League outfit – initially on loan – West Ham in 2012. With the London-based side, Carroll ended up playing 142 matches and scoring 34 goals in a whopping seven-year stint.
Hammers full-back Aaron Cresswell previously dubbed the forward as “unplayable” but that can, unfortunately, be used to describe him in more than one sense. Whilst the full-back was talking about the player’s quality on the pitch, it could also be used to sum up a large portion of his career as he was unavailable through injury.
Between his time with Liverpool, the Hammers and Newcastle, he picked up 23 separate injury problems that caused him to miss a stunning 198 games. He has proven to be unreliable throughout his playing days and that has been reflected in how his career has tailed off.
His spell at West Ham came to an end in 2019 as he left on a free to re-join the Toon, but his second stint on Tyneside was nothing to write home about as he was released after two years and he now finds himself at West Brom in the Championship.
At the time of writing (31/03/22), Transfermarkt value him at a measly £720k. In fact, he has never been valued at more than £18m since leaving the Magpies in 2011 and has been valued at £9m or less since 2014, which shows that the Toon enjoyed a blinder with their decision to sell him to Liverpool fo a whopping £36.9m.