By 90Min
August 09, 2019

Much of the major transfer news on Deadline Day came from north London, with Arsenal and Tottenham hogging the headlines with their comings and goings. Yet up on Tyneside, there was an equally captivating story brewing.

More than eight years after departing Newcastle for a staggering £35m to join Liverpool, Andy Carroll has returned to St James' Park. 

Reaction to the move has been mixed, with many viewing it as a humbling moment for the 30-year-old, whose career has seemingly gone backwards after leaving for bigger and better things back in 2011, and a desperate choice for Newcastle who couldn't find any better than an injury-prone 30-year-old. 

However, there are others more optimistic about Carroll's homecoming, especially the player himself.

Here's a look at why bringing Carroll back to Newcastle could turn out to be a shrewd piece of business.


He Will Ease the Pressure on Joelinton

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Newcastle signed Joelinton for a club-record transfer fee last month, clearly believing that he will be the player to replace the goals of Ayoze Perez and Salomon Ronson to keep the side in the Premier League this season. That is a heavy weight on the shoulders of the 22-year-old, who has yet to play a competitive game in England.

Prior to Carroll's signing, the back-up option for the Magpies was Dwight Gayle, a proven performer in the Championship, but someone who has struggled to replicate that form in the top flight.

Then they brought in Carroll. The forward has played over 200 Premier League games, and in his last spell at the club in the first half of the 2010/11 season, he scored 11 goals and provided seven assists in just 19 appearances. He has already shown that he can shine in front of the Gallowgate End. If Joelinton is not firing, Newcastle now have a useful option from the bench.


He Has a Point to Prove

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Perhaps the average 30-year-old striker would be seen as a little past their best with their career winding down. Some would be looking for where they can make the most money, knowing that they are unlikely to improve any more.

For Carroll, it is different. Having been hindered by injuries throughout his time at West Ham, many have written him off. Will he ever return to the form that saw him earn a move to Liverpool and win nine caps for England? That remains to be seen. If he does not, it won't be through a lack of effort.

Back at his boyhood club, Carroll has a point to prove. He will want to prove the doubters wrong. He will want to show that he can still dazzle on the big stage. With that kind of motivation driving him, there is reason to believe that he will still be able to offer Newcastle plenty this season.


It's a Low-Risk Gamble

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No one knows how well Carroll will do this year. The last seven years of his career have seen his development stall at West Ham, largely due to a series of injuries. Tying him down to a long-term deal would have been a foolish move from Newcastle.

Instead, they have taken the safety-first approach. Carroll has arrived on a free transfer on an initial one year deal. This means that if he does have another injury-hit season, he will simply leave the club next year having not cost a great deal. 

Yet if he plays well then the side benefit, Newcastle can look to extend his contract, and Carroll has re-established himself as a hometown hero. It's a win-win situation.


Remember, Carroll Is a Good Striker

This is easy to forget. You'd be forgiven for forgetting that Carroll is even still a professional footballer, given how much football he has missed in recent years.

Of course he can look a little clumsy at times. He did not suit Liverpool's style of play so did not fit in there. Yet if you are looking for a target man, on his day there are few better in the Premier League.

This is a player who terrorised defences when he was last at Newcastle, linking up superbly with Kevin Nolan and Shola Ameobi. He even showed glimpses of his best at West Ham, and who can forget his stunning header for England against Sweden at Euro 2012? As textbook a header as you will see.

Put the ball into the box, and Carroll will attack it with everything. Sure, many of his career highlights are from years ago, and he may struggle to reproduce those moments. But what if he can? Then Newcastle really have a player on their hands.

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