Is Andy Carroll ever going to become a top Premier League striker?
The millions spent on him would say yes, other's would say no. He has potential, but does he really have the ability?
The English born centre-forward started his career at Newcastle United in 2006 at the young age of 17.
Making eight appearances for the North-East club, Newcastle decided to let him go out on loan at Championship side Preston North End where he featured in 11 matches, scoring one goal.
Carroll returned from his loan spell in 2008, where he made a further 14 appearances in the Premier League, hitting the back of the net three times before Newcastle's relegation at the end of the 2008/09 season.
The big centre-forward enjoyed some good form in Newcastle's very impressive season in the Championship as he scored 19 goals, 17 of these in the league.
Not a bad return for the young and eager striker, trying to establish himself in the first-team. The following season, Carroll scored 11 times in the Premier League, capturing the attention of Liverpool.
The Newcastle forward had scored a total of 32 goals in 79 matches for the Magpies before his extravagant transfer fee of a colossal £35m to Liverpool towards the end of the 2010/11 season.
The move left a lot of fans doubting whether Carroll would be able to live up to the pressure which comes with such a mighty transfer fee.
We all know the answer to their doubts, and that unfortunately, is a simple, no.
During his time at Liverpool, Carroll failed to deliver time after time for his new club, putting the Englishman under even more pressure. He made a total of 58 appearances for the Reds, scoring a very disappointing 11 goals in all competitions, a feat he once equalled at Newcastle United in a mere 20 matches.
This leads to some people wondering if his transfer to Liverpool had a huge negative impact on his career.
In the season of 2012/13, West Ham United offered Carroll a way out of Liverpool by taking him on-loan at Upton Park, a move which saw him regain some of his goalscoring confidence as he scored seven in 23 domestic games, a return good enough to earn himself a permanent move to London as of June 2013, for a reported fee of £15m.
That's a £20m loss for Liverpool, money which could have been spent on better resources, but as for West Ham, it could turn out to be very good move, as Carroll is still only 24-years-old, and looks to be enjoying life at West Ham, something we never saw at Liverpool.
Carroll is now at a club where the manager and fans love him, and most of all, he is the focal point of their attacking tactics.
Carroll could still have a bright and successful career ahead of him, if he can stay injury free and become a consistent goalscorer within the Premier League and throughout cup competitions, he could be at West Ham for many years to come.
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