Mike Ashley must sanction a January exit for rumoured West Bromwich Albion target Andy Carroll with the striker far from who Steve Bruce needs at Newcastle United.
According to The Mirror (21/12, p. 63), Sam Allardyce is keen to be reunited with the centre-forward he spent £15m to sign whilst in charge of West Ham United having taken over from Slaven Bilic at The Hawthorns.
Carroll is yet to score a single goal for the Magpies since returning to St. James’ Park last year, and is believed to have been left frustrated by Bruce’s decision to leave him on the bench during this month’s 5-2 thrashing at Leeds United.
Allardyce is expected to contact Bruce to discuss a cut-priced winter deal for Carroll, who has just six months remaining on his £75,000-per-week contract, feeling the £3m-rated target man can prove very beneficial during the Baggies’ fight for Premier League survival.
Former Albion striker Kevin Phillips would urge the relegation-threatened side to complete a swoop for Carroll if Newcastle are open to a deal, as well, believing 6 ft 3 titan would offer Allardyce a different dimension compared to his current options.
“If you could guarantee he was going to stay fit for the rest of the season, I would certainly consider it because he gives you a different style,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“There might be a lot of people who say ‘oh this is going to be route-one football’ but it’s about winning a football match. And if that means bringing in a 6 ft 5 or 6 ft 6 centre-forward and you play a different style of play, we know Andy Carroll on his day can be unplayable.”
Allardyce was a firm supporter of Carroll’s talents during his spell in charge of West Ham, claiming the Toon product could be “unstoppable” when given space to operate in the penalty area.
“He is unstoppable when he gets that space,” Allardyce said in 2014, via quotes by BBC Sport. “Movement in the box is what it is all about, the heading ability only comes after the movement is right to give you the space to attack the ball and that happened with his two goals [vs Swansea].”
Carroll has been far from unplayable since re-joining Newcastle over a year ago, and Ashley must sanction a winter exit for the attacker who is bleeding the Toon chief dry with nothing to show for his lucrative wage.
Bruce has awarded just four players a lower haul of top-flight minutes than Carroll thus far this season, with the 31-year-old featuring for only 199 minutes over eight outings, of which he’s started just two.
Carroll should not be surprised to see Bruce explore alternative options, either, having failed to find the target with either of his seven shots recorded thus far, while only offering one key ball and winning just under two in three aerial duels, per WhoScored.
Newcastle certainly need further strikers beyond top-scorer Callum Wilson with Jeff Hendrick the sole additional Toon player to have scored more than once, but Carroll is unlikely to be Bruce’s answer and must be allowed to join West Brom in January.