Newcastle brought Andy Carroll back to the club after eight and a half years away on transfer deadline day last summer.
The Englishman, having been released by West Ham, was a free agent and Steve Bruce clearly thought he was worth taking a risk on.
How is his return to St James’ Park going so far? The second international break of the season provides the ideal time to take a closer look.
What’s the background?
Carroll and Newcastle know each other very well and he has been linked with a return to the north east intermittently since his departure.
He eventually signed on deadline day, with Sky Sports reporting he has penned an initial 12-month deal and he couldn’t hide his excitement.
Carroll said at the time: “It’s an amazing feeling to be back. On the way up it was just butterflies in the stomach. It’s a great feeling. There is unfinished business. The minute I left Newcastle it was always in my head to come back at one point.”
How’s he looking?
Injury forced Carroll to wait to make his second Newcastle debut and Transfermarkt document that he has only played 69 minutes for the Magpies this term.
Of course he is being eased back in but that underlines the eternal issue with Carroll; can he stay fit enough to be relied upon to play football on a regular basis?
The jury is still out on that one but it must be said that Carroll’s presence at home games lifted the mood of the natives.
Hit or miss?
Carroll hasn’t scored on his return or started a match. It’s the middle of October. That’s the problem with him, he needs to be treated with kid gloves or else his fitness will break down.
The fans appear desperate for him to come good but more evidence is needed that he can still trouble Premier League defences and that he can play a run of games from the start.