For the exit: Andy Carroll

West Ham United spent heavily in the last summer transfer window, following the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini. The likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Lukasz Fabianski and Issa Diop have added genuine quality to the squad at the London Stadium.

However, the Hammers still have plenty of deadwood to shift out. For various reasons, the futures of Winston Reid, Arthur Masuaku and Andy Carroll should all be under consideration. Carroll’s current contract with the Irons is actually due to expire at the end of this season, which offers the east London club a golden opportunity to get the injury-prone 30-year-old forward off their books in a hassle-free manner.

However, in December, Pellegrini offered Carroll a lifeline, saying “when you need to renew your contract, of course you must demonstrate why you need to renew…We know what Andy can give to our team, now he must demonstrate he is able to do it week by week…I hope that he will be able to do it”, as quoted by Sky Sports.

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In the same month, Carroll reiterated to talkSPORT his desire to stay in Stratford, “I am focused on staying here and that’s where my head is at.” He has subsequently featured regularly for the first team in the early months of 2019.

To even seriously entertain the notion of offering the 9-cap England international new terms would be a mistake on West Ham’s part. Instead, they must already be seeking an upgrade on the 6’4” striker to bring in this summer.

Why he has to go

Injuries have ravaged Carroll’s career. Since joining West Ham from Liverpool in 2012, the attacker has managed just 141 appearances for the club in all competitions in the subsequent six-and-a-half seasons.

According to Spotrac, Carroll is currently being paid £90,000-a-week. That is a huge amount to be paying a player who is so infrequently available. At this stage in his career, his fitness concerns are not going to lessen either. 

When he has got on the pitch this season, Carroll has looked a shadow of his former self. What pace he had has gone, and he has been left so fragile and bereft of confidence that he has been unable to compete physically with the effectiveness his stature suggests he should have.

Time is up for Carroll at West Ham, and the club must recognise that now.