Former Crystal Palace striker Neil Shipperley has said that Andy Carroll is the current Premier League player who he sees the most of himself in, and has also stated that he would like to see the former Newcastle striker play for the Eagles.
Shipperley was best known for being a target man during a career in which he played for Chelsea and Wimbledon as well as Palace. He spent four years at Selhurst Park across two spells, helping the club earn promotion to the Premier League in 03/04.
The lone big man up front is becoming something of rarity in English football, with most clubs now plucking for faster, more technical forwards like Sergio Aguero, Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
However, Andy Carroll is a throwback to a bygone era, and Shipperley believes the 30-year-old has a similar style of play to himself.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, he said, “I love the way he plays, I love the way he chucks himself about and the physical side of his game. It’s a dying breed now (target man striker).”
He also added that the nine-cap former England international could still do a job for Roy Hodgson. “I’d love him at Palace, though he’s too injury prone, but I would still love him at Palace. He’s brilliant and he’d scare the life out of defenders.”
Currently, Carroll is without a club having left West Ham earlier this summer. His main problem has been the long periods he has spent on the sidelines: throughout his career, he has missed 179 games through injury. As he gets older, his body is unlikely to become more reliable.
Having said that, the quality is there – he has scored over 50 top flight goals despite his injury problems – and he would still be worth a punt on a pay-as-you-play deal of some sort. Palace’s options in attack are neither numerous nor prolific – between them, Christian Benteke, Jordan Ayew and Connor Wickham bagged just four goals last season – and so the squad may benefit from the experience of a man who has played in the Europa League and the European Championships.
As he is now a free agent, he would not need to be signed before the transfer window deadline on August 8th, meaning that Palace could give him time to prove his fitness as part of a trial before making a decision on whether to sign him. Depending on how the final days of the transfer window pan out for Palace, Carroll could prove to be a worthy gamble.