When Andy Carroll initially signed a season-long loan deal from Liverpool in August 2012 it was seen as a real coup for the club and, once the Reds had decided that he was no longer needed at Anfield, the Hammers jumped at the chance to get the deal done.
However Carroll’s history of injury seemed to be dismissed when making this decision; has this come back to bite West Ham?
Given Carroll’s connections with boss Sam Allardyce and Captain Kevin Nolan, Carroll was also keen to make the switch to Upton Park and to capture a player of his calibre certainly boosted morale amongst both fans and players.
Although he made an impressive debut in the 3-0 home win against Fulham, he then was out for three games due to injury before returning as a substitute in the 2-1 win away at Queens Park Rangers. Carroll played on before suffering another setback against Manchester United at Old Trafford sidelining him for a further 11 games.
After the return to action for the second time he featured for the rest of the campaign but did pick up a minor ankle injury in the season finale, the 4-2 home win over Reading.
That summer, Allardyce obviously wanted to make the signing of the former Newcastle United man permanent but once news came to light that his injury was worse than first feared, the East Londoners were unsure whether a deal could be struck.
That said, he did pass his medical and the deal that Big Sam had persuaded the co-owners to push the boat out on was completed. However, after he had returned to training he suffered an injury to his heel making him unavailable until January.
Unfortunately, though, disaster has struck again and Carroll has now picked up yet another ankle injury on a pre-season training camp in France before the summer friendlies had even started and has missed the entire pre-season schedule to date.
There has also been widespread speculation linking him with a return to his boyhood club Newcastle, though West Ham have vehemently denied this.
The question remains whether West Ham were right to gamble such a large chunk of last season’s transfer budget on a player that has only played 40 games for the club – and been out of action for 44 – with a return of only nine goals.
In my opinion, given his injury record, it was a mistake but with the club now top heavy with strikers after a further two were added to the squad, I think they should hold on to Carroll as they invested such a large sum of money to secure his services. It would seem a waste to give up on him so soon and their investment would almost certainly be written off.
I believe it should be Cole who should be moved on as he has made little impact since his return and he still may have some resale value. Is there any point of keeping him on given that the club actually released him last summer?