When faced with the skepticism of a huge transfer fee, the first thing a player wants to do is prove the doubters wrong. But for Andy Carroll, his £35million move to Liverpool was the start of a frustrating second half of the season that saw the former Newcastle striker stifled by injuries. But as Liverpool kicked off their new season with a raft of new summer arrivals, Carroll himself can be viewed as a new addition to the Anfield side as he finally gets a proper chance to prove his worth on Merseyside.
Carroll made the move from Newcastle to Liverpool on the final day of the January transfer window for a fee that was rightly questioned. Whilst Carroll enjoyed a successful spell at Newcastle, he is still vastly unproven as a top goalscorer. But Liverpool took the risk on Carroll as a replacement for the outgoing Fernando Torres.
Carroll arrived on Merseyside carrying an injury and subsequently didn’t make his debut until early March. He went on to make a handful of further appearances for the Reds toward the end of the season but was rarely fully fit and fans only saw glimpses of Carroll at his best. His most notable performance to date was his two goals against Manchester City in April in a thrilling display that showed how dangerous an in form Carroll can be for Liverpool.
Kenny Dalglish should now have the benefit of a fit Carroll, who has had pre-season to not only gain full fitness but also form partnerships with Liverpool’s current stars and other new signings. In particular the deliveries of Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing should only benefit Carroll’s aerial ability whilst he has a proper chance to form a deadly partnership with skillful strike partner Luis Suarez. Dalglish now has the chance to not only utilise Carroll but also build a team around the young Englishman from the start of the season.
Whilst he may have joined the club at the same time as Suarez, injuries have meant Carroll has not been given half the chance to make as much impact. Carroll should be fresh and raring to go with a full pre-season and a handful of both Liverpool and international appearances behind him. Strangely the time he spent out injured and then slowly regaining his fitness may have given Carroll more of a chance to settle into life as Liverpool’s number nine without needing to instantly repay his huge transfer fee.
But the fact he didn’t make an immediate impact at Liverpool after his move means that the weight of expectation still remains. If Carroll is to be viewed as almost a new signing then the 22 year-old now has a massive transfer fee to live up to. Fans have remained patient and understanding but unfortunately that will not remain forever and Carroll will need to start to show a good return in a Liverpool shirt.
But Liverpool can take many positives from having a fully fit Andy Carroll in their squad. He must be raring to go after his frustrating start to his Liverpool career and whilst he was able to learn a little from those last few months of the season, Carroll now has the chance to really prove himself to the Anfield faithful this season.
Do you think Carroll will be a success at Anfield this season? If you want to read more of my bite size, 140 character views and thoughts follow me on Twitter @jennyk5