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Have Liverpool learnt the lessons from the Andy Carroll transfer saga?



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Andy Carroll has sealed his move to West Ham permanently ending his turbulent two and half years relationship with Liverpool.

The 24-year-old joined Liverpool in the January transfer window of 2011 for a record fee of £35m from Newcastle United on the transfer deadline day, along with Luis Suarez who joined from Ajax.

Andy Carroll became the record signing for West Ham at £15m

While the Uruguayan took no time to set the Premier League stage ablaze with his dazzling skills and goals, the tall striker found it difficult to adapt instantly.

It all went horribly wrong from the beginning. The decision of buying him was poor, the timing of the transfer was awful and the money spent was equally ridiculous – in a nutshell it was the worst panic buy ever made in Premier League’s history.

And Liverpool fans and club-based journalists tried to justify the deal in what-ever way they could, failing to accept the reality that it was never a smart move.

How many times that season you heard this phrase “statement of intent” used by Liverpool journalists and bloggers? Many said the club under the new ownership needed to show a “strong statement of intent” and that’s why FSG didn’t shy away from dishing out £35m for Carroll on the final day.

Suarez & Carroll – the partnership that never blossomed

The club lacked inspiration, motivation under Roy Hodgson and it needed a deal like that to get the atmosphere buzzing again. As if, bringing back club legend Kenny Dalglish was not enough. As if, signing the Ajax sensation was not enough.

The club lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea that season. It was a devastating blow no doubt but Liverpool made a huge profit by selling him.

The Reds could have utilized the dosh perfectly. Not many clubs get the luxury of investing £50m to rebuild the squad.

There is a common notion among Liverpool fans that Carroll was bought with the money spent on Torres, hence financially it is not a loss.

Each and every player has a value. Liverpool probably got a deserved value of money for Torres, but that does not justify the price tag of Andy Carroll. No way. Coz, Carroll is not a £35m striker. Of course, it was something which was beyond his control.

Liverpool already had purchased Suarez that season. The fans definitely would have understood. There was no need to use the money just for the sake of appeasing the fans or showing a strong statement of intent. It could have been rather should have been used in a better way the following summer.

The player was already injured when Liverpool signed him and only featured seven times  in the league scoring two goals. He left virtually no impact in that second half of the season (unlike Suarez) and didn’t improve the squad either.

What we probably can say in retrospection is that the owners were naïve while dealing with the deal. It was FSG’s first transfer window and they had to face the pressure of selling a star player. So, they deserve at least one benefit of doubt that circumstances got the better of them.

Liverpool heading in the positive direction under Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool have learnt the lessons by now and hopefully they won’t make the same mistake again in future. The way they have been handling the summer transfer window so far suggests that a fresh new approach has been taken, which is really good to see.

The Reds have identified their targets and are looking to conclude the business at the earliest. They have had problems dealing with Suarez’s antics in recent past but now the club is handling his issues rather diplomatically.

When news first broke out that Suarez wants to leave the club and the country, the club reacted immediately giving a statement that the player is not up for sale. The club gave him an ultimatum and demanded him to give a written transfer request if he really wants to move.

Liverpool have taken baby steps towards a new direction, with a definitive approach. One with shrewd intentions and stern conviction. Hence, should a situation bearing similarities to the past arise, the Reds, are undoubtedly better prepared.