Local lad Andy Carroll re-signed for Newcastle United this summer on a free transfer. The towering striker came through the academy at St James’ Park and made his name with the Magpies as a youngster. However, he left the Tyneside outfit in 2011 to make a £36 million move to Liverpool.
The forward failed to live up to his price tag at Anfield and then injuries began to take their toll. Fitness problems have plagued Carroll ever since and he has been unable to play regularly at the top level for a number of years now. However, he is hoping that a return to Newcastle will help to reignite his career.
Carroll made 90 appearances for the club, and scored 33 goals, before leaving for Liverpool. Now, he’s desperate to add to those numbers once he gets back to full fitness.
It certainly means a lot to Carroll to be back with his boyhood club. Speaking to the official Newcastle website, the 30-year-old said, “I can’t wait to just walk out at St. James’. I really can’t…When I put the shirt on and walk out… I can’t describe it. I’m more buzzing to put it on now, the shirt, than I was when I was 17. I’m so excited”.
Sentimentalism aside, Carroll has plenty to prove on Tyneside. He needs to prove that he can maintain his fitness for a reasonable period, and that he can still compete physically in the top flight. If he can do that, then Steve Bruce has a truly talented and effective goalscorer at his disposal. However, Carroll’s lengthy record of previous fitness issues suggests that the odds are against him.
The Magpies are set for a tough slog of a season this year. Bruce will need all hands on deck if they’re to stave off a relegation scrap. If Carroll can’t contribute, then bringing him back to St James’ Park will be looked upon as an error, and Bruce can’t afford to make many of them this season.