It’s perfectly understandable that some Liverpool fans are concerned about the money spent on Andy Carroll. £35m spent, and very little return for it so far.
What does annoy me though is people’s failure to factor in that the price was entirely financed by the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m on the same day.
John W Henry said as much here in an interview with The Guardian. The key paragraph is:
“The fee for Torres was dependent on what Newcastle asked for Carroll,” Henry said, explaining that Liverpool wanted Carroll, plus £15m, to replace Torres. Together with the £6m sale of Ryan Babel to Hoffenheim, that effectively financed Liverpool’s £22.8m signing of Luis Suárez, meaning the club bought two strikers but net, spent almost nothing. “The negotiation for us was simply the difference in prices paid by Chelsea and to Newcastle,” Henry said. “Those prices could have been £35m [from Chelsea for Torres] and £20m [to Newcastle for Carroll], 40 and 25 or 50 and 35. It was ultimately up to Newcastle how much this was all going to cost. They [Newcastle] made a hell of a deal. We felt the same way.”
The large price isn’t ideal as it adds pressure, but ultimately Chelsea paid over the odds for Carroll, not Liverpool (if you see what I mean!).
I’m a big believer in the idea that net spend on transfers is the most important thing – I would use that to defend Rafa’s transfer record to non-believers for example.
After the sale of Torres and Babel, the net spend on Carroll and Suárez was just £1.5m or thereabouts. It doesn’t make the price for Carroll ‘right’ per se, but personally I see it as a decent deal.
I can’t help but think that if the prices had been £20m for Carroll and £35m for Torres, then there would not be so much debate on the issue.
Carroll is clearly a player with great potential (see here for my analysis of his performances for Newcastle United in the first half of this season), and is still yet to appear for Liverpool whilst fully fit.
In the Premier League, he has scored two goals in seven appearances for the Reds. However, in terms of minutes on the pitch, he has only registered 446 so far, which is the equivalent of just under five games.
Two goals in (effectively) five games, whilst unfit. Bit soon to be writing him off, whatever his cost, don’t you think?
Please take a look at my other articles, a list of which can be found here.