Newcastle hero and commentator Alan Shearer has called on Andy Carroll to be the greatest star for England since, well, the Newcastle legend himself.
Carroll made his debut for England against France in a friendly late last year. The striker failed to make much of an impact, but had a lot of potential, and multiple reports are saying the Liverpool signing will be Fabio Capello’s favoured striker for a partnership up forward with Wayne Rooney.
"Carroll is something very different - he is big and strong. There are not many players who can beat him in the air,” Shearer told the Daily Mirror.
"He has got a decent touch. He will run into the corners and he will score goals.”
Shearer believes Rooney and Carroll have the ability to make an unstoppable strike force.
"That has real potential - one guy who's one of the best on the world, and another who has gone for a big price-tag and wants to get where Rooney is,” he said.
"They are both hungry and want to better themselves, so it has real potential.
"Andy can be the talisman of the England team if he continues. He reminds me a lot of Big Dunc [Duncan Ferguson], and in a good way, not a bad one.
"Defenders hate playing against him because he's horrible to go up against. For a kid who's so young, that's a statement.”
While Carroll has applauded by all the football greats as a star signing for Liverpool and asset for England, Shearer is wary of pressure mounting on the 22 year old.
"It's all right us former players speaking in glowing terms about him - and it's hard not to because of the season he's having - but we mustn't put too much pressure on him," Shearer said.
Carroll signed for Liverpool in the January transfer period for a record fee of £35 million. The star was blooded by Newcastle though, and Shearer knows only too well how stars that come out of the Toon have a long lasting shine about them.
"Andy's got everything going for him - it's how badly he wants it, and he does. He could be England's No.9 for the next 10 years. He can be anything he wants to be, because he is that good."