Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims he allowed Andy Carroll to leave the club in order to implement a system designed to extract the very best from in-form striker Luis Suarez.
West Ham paid a club record fee of £15 million to clinch the signing of Carroll in the summer transfer window after he had spent the entirety of the previous season on loan at Upton Park.
The England international had only been acquired by Liverpool in January 2011 for £35 million - the most the club have ever paid - but Rodgers deemed Carroll surplus to requirements only weeks after taking charge at Anfield.
Rodgers has now explained that he had to sell Carroll in order to adopt the formation that would allow his key players to flourish, of which Suarez is one, rather than be over reliant on a more imposing centre-forward.
"My thinking was that, when you play with a target man, he becomes the focal point of your team, so everything has to be set up around the big guy," Rodgers told reporters.
"Sometimes you get sucked into doing it more direct, and clearly, with my history as a coach, I don’t work that way.
"Removing that means you have to connect your game better through the lines, through the thirds. Possession is not good enough on its own, you have to penetrate. That’s what Luis does. He is always on the move, in spaces and in behind defenders.
"He can drift along the back line, he spins on the shoulder and he has got that freedom to do what he does best.
"You look at the goals he has scored in my time here, and not too many have been from whipped in crosses, which, to be fair, big Andy was brilliant at. The style has brought out Luis’ qualities."
Rodgers has certainly been justified in his decision to back the talents of Suarez over Carroll, with the Liverpool forward having scored 36 times in his last 42 Premier League appearances for the club.
Carroll, meanwhile, has scored seven goals in his 24 games for West Ham, and has not played at all this season due to injury.
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