If bringing Andy Carroll back was done with a nod to sentimentality, then next summer should see Newcastle rid themselves of all emotion and make a tough, but logical call, on his future.
The big Geordie returned to St James’ Park after several years away back in the summer of 2019, and admitted it was a dream come true. He said: “Playing for your boyhood team and going away, you realise what you had and missed. Coming back it’s something only dreams are made of. I enjoyed the time I spent here, and hopefully I can carry on where I left off. For me to get back to where I was, I think this is the only place for me.”
Sadly for both Carroll and the Magpies, he just hasn’t hit those heights. He hasn’t scored a single competitive goal since his return, and despite playing in just half of his side’s Premier League games last season, the Tyneside club surprisingly opted to hand him a one-year extension to his contract earlier in the summer.
His start to the new campaign has been similarly disappointing, even after the promise of better things when he completed 88 minutes in the first game of the season against former club West Ham.
That proved to be a false dawn for Carroll, with the towering striker not even getting close to finishing a game since. His lack of game-time may be down to the fact that he stands to earn a whopping £75k-a-week if he starts, and quite frankly, his performances haven’t shown anything to warrant the Magpies paying that amount.
With his contract coming to an end next summer, Newcastle surely have to just take a stand and call time on Carroll’s second spell at the club and rid themselves of a financial burden that must leave Mike Ashley with sleepless nights.