Tuesday’s Busts: Worst Signings – That time Liverpool Fc tried to replace Fernando Torres with Andy Carroll

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It was a cold January day, similar to this one, just under 10 years ago. It was the day where Liverpool Fc made one of, if not their WORST signings in history. Just as club favorite Fernando Torres was sold to Chelsea for $65.35m, a young unproven but highly touted Englishman Andy Carroll was being scouted. The player had scored 11 goals and 8 assists in 19 games for Newcastle so far, and was tearing up Premier League defense.

This transfer went from being just an idea, to officially complete in less than 24 hours, and is proof that teams must do their homework before actually going through with a multimillion dollar deal that can make, or break a clubs bank. The man responsible for the signing, former Liverpool transfer chief Damien Comelli recently spoke out about it, these were some of his thoughts as he pulled the trigger;

“The scenario I had in my mind at the time was either he’s a massive hit and success, or he was not but there was some money still to be made. We knew we were overpaying but we were also getting incredible money for Torres and Chelsea were grossly overpaying as well.”

“We voted and we knew we were paying over the odds for Andy but he was young, he was English and at the time I told them if it doesn’t work out, we’ll sell him for £20 million to West Ham, back to Newcastle, Aston Villa.”
“We were stuck at the time because Fernando was going and we didn’t know who to replace him with. I kind of agreed a deal with Newcastle that night, and the next day they read in the paper how much we were getting for Torres so they changed the deal and increased it by £5 million which absolutely drove me crazy.”

One of the worst moments in business is when a deal is agreed, and then one of the parties tries to change it. That should have been a sign to Comelli to look elsewhere, but like he said, he was stuck. Math does not seem like it is one of Comelli’s strong points, because the club ended up paying £36.90m, or $45.1m Usd. It turns out Andy wasn’t only JUST a massive fail but he also costed the club and owners a large sum of wasted cash.

This is pretty good, they could have bought anyone.

The giant English striker was brought in to partner with the then young speedy Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who was also brought in from Ajax that same January transfer window. The partnership never really flourished, Carroll struggled with injuries and fitness having thigh and knee issues during his short 18 month stay at Anfield. The Brit managed 11 goals and 6 assists from 58 appearances in all competitions, while Suarez on the other hand managed 82 goals and 47 assists from 133 games, going to Barcelona in summer of 2014.

To close off 2010 – 2011 with his new club, the player scored 2 Premier League goals in 7 games, dealing with fitness issues. The next year, his only full season with the club he did perform strong in the FA Cup, scoring 4 goals and 3 assists from just 6 matches. However he disappointed in the EPL, managing the same numbers 4 goals and 3 assists but from 35 Premier League games. This is Liverpools starting striker, these numbers are unacceptable for any top English club, and will not help them achieve their ambitions.

It was a clear sign that Carroll could perform against lower leveled teams in Cup matches, but did not have what it took to compete with the top teams of the Prem. A decision had to be taken with a newish player who cost the club $45.1m, he just wasn’t cutting it at Liverpool.

Comelli was right about one thing: having potential buyers if the player did not ‘’pan out’’. Once the season was over, on August 30th 2012 Andy Carroll was sent on loan to West Ham for the upcoming season. This is only a year and a half after signing for The Reds. Liverpool have now received $1.38M back from their investment as payment from The Hammers. The big Center Forward finished the year with 7 goals and 4 assists from 24 appearances at his new club, things could be turning up

The performance they got out of the player was enough for West Ham to buy Carroll permanently from Liverpool for $19.25m. This was a full transfer, and the player will not return to Anfield as a Red, and ‘’He WILL walk alone’’. If we analyze the business aspect of this transfer, it was quite bad. Liverpool sells a star player for a large sum of cash, then dumped most of it on a ‘’replacement’’ player for $45.1$ million. Including the 1 season loan + full sale to West Ham, LFC recuperated $20.63m, which means they took a full loss of $24.47m for 18 months and 6 Premier League goals.

If Liverpool had not made any money back from selling Carroll then the 11 goals scored from all competitions would have each costed $4.1m. We will take into account they sold the player for JUST under half than what they paid for him, this means that every time he did put the ball in the net, it realistically cost the club a net loss of $2.22m per goal.

Here are his 11 goals for Liverpool.

Things have not been easy for the player since his Liverpool days ended, his best season since was in 2015 – 2016 where he scored 9 goals and 1 assist in 27 games. Carroll stayed at West Ham until August 2019 where he went to Newcastle on a free transfer after his contract expired. West Ham got 7 years out of him, his body was completely unreliable struggling with injuries and missing most of each season.

Things have been looking up for Andy, he just scored his 1st league goal for Newcastle against Leceister City. It was his first Premier League goal since 2017 – 2018, and his first official goal since the 2018 – 2019 Fa Cup. Now aged 32 he is no longer the young promising Englishman he used to be, unfortunately being so injury plagued ruined any form of consistency or potential he could have had. Liverpool was a big chance for Carroll, who could not seize the opportunity, and once he left Anfield for good, is when his career took a turn for the worse.

That time when Terry Tam from Hot Sauce Sports interviewed Bacary Sagna, former Arsenal Fc, Manchester City, and Montreal Impact player:

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