Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was surprised Liverpool did not do more 'homework' on Andy Carroll before breaking their transfer record to sign the striker from Newcastle.
Liverpool spent £35 million on Carroll in the January transfer window of 2011, but the 23-year-old has been sent out on loan to West Ham after failing to make an impressing at Anfield.
Carroll was signed by Liverpool as a replacement for Fernando Torres, who left on deadline day for Chelsea, and joined the Reds with limited experience of playing in the Premier League.
The England international had spent the previous season in the Championship with Newcastle, but impressed enough on return to the top-flight to earn his British record move to Liverpool.
Carroll, however, has far from justified his hefty price-tag since joining Liverpool, and Ferguson feels that the Reds were too hasty in their move for the young striker.
The Manchester United boss believes Liverpool should have waited to see how Carroll fared during his second campaign in the Premier League, before launching a bid to sign him.
"He’d played not a lot of games for Newcastle and had to deal with a £35m transfer to a club like Liverpool," Ferguson told The Mirror.
"He was young and it was quite a big jump for him for that kind of money. We’ve gambled on young players in the past, a couple of million, something like that.
"But when you get to that level of £35m, you need to do a bit more homework and see how he is in the second season, maybe."
Ferguson's Manchester United side will face Carroll this week when West Ham travel to Old Trafford, and the Scot is wary that the on-loan forward will have a point to prove.
He added: "Now it’s up to the boy to improve himself. He’s a great header of the ball and very aggressive. He’ll be a handful on Wednesday.”