‘Hoping to fail…’ – Andy Carroll makes extraordinary claim about his £35m move to Liverpool

Lfc Rumour (Mark Baldwin)

Andy Carroll has made a rather extraordinary claim regarding his then club-record transfer to Liverpool in January 2011.

The striker – now 34 and playing for Amiens in the French second tier – was a £35m deadline day signing from Newcastle 13 seasons ago (BBC Sport), joining the Reds on the same day as Luis Suarez, and also the same day that Fernando Torres was sold to Chelsea.

Speaking to L’Equipe, the Gateshead native admitted that he was hoping the move to Merseyside wouldn’t come off.

Carroll said: “From the moment Liverpool made this incredible bid on deadline day, I found myself in a helicopter, without really understanding why. As I was injured, I remember hoping to fail my medical.”

However, he added that the transfer “helped me grow up by taking me out of my comfort zone, because I knew nothing about life and football, apart from Newcastle.”

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At the time of the transfer, Carroll insisted that he was forced out of Newcastle rather than leaving of his own free will (The Guardian), and his signing looks rather like a panic buy from Liverpool in response to Torres’ exit.

He lasted little more than 18 months at Anfield, being cast out in the early weeks of Brendan Rodgers’ reign, and netted just 11 goals in his 58 appearances for the Reds (Transfermarkt).

To give the former England international his due, he’d go on to score 54 times in 248 Premier League games, ultimately proving that he belonged in the division (Transfermarkt). His move to LFC could simply have been a case of wrong club, wrong time.

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In 2011, Liverpool were nowhere near as stable or powerful as they are now. Carroll joined us during a period of upheaval in terms of a managerial change (Kenny Dalglish replacing Roy Hodgson) and, mercifully, new owners as NESV (now FSG) deposed the reviled Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The transfer happened just three months after the Reds were on the brink of entering administration, so Anfield was rife with chaos during that period in the early 2010s, a sharp contrast to the stability we have now with Jurgen Klopp as manager and the club on a sound financial footing.

At least these days when players are signed, it’s typically done following extensive research and planning, rather than the ‘throwing a dart at the dartboard and seeing where it lands’ approach which seemed to be the case with Carroll’s move.

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