Andy Carroll started the decade as a Newcastle United player, and that’s where he’ll end it.
The forward enjoyed an emotional return to St James’ Park this summer, but his 2011 departure will still hurt for some Newcastle fans.
He was thriving in the Premier League with the number nine on his back, scoring 11 times since helping the Magpies win promotion back to the top flight.
But in January 2011, it all changed.
On transfer deadline day, Chelsea were looking to sign Liverpool forward Fernando Torres for £50 million. Therefore, the Reds needed a replacement. Luis Suarez came in from Ajax, but he wasn’t the big money arrival.
After multiple bids were rebuffed, Carroll was on his way to Anfield for £35 million. He didn’t want to go. He wanted to sign a new contract with Newcastle. But Mike Ashley couldn’t resist the money, cashing in on his biggest asset.
And with the deal coming late in the day, there was no time to sign a replacement. Shefki Kuqi arrived on a free, but he was nothing compared to the £35 million stallion Newcastle had let go.
Carroll’s time away from Newcastle was far from perfect and it led him back to Tyneside this summer. But this transfer broke a lot of hearts, and was the first of many top players to be sold during the Ashley era.
Every day until Christmas, Geordie Boot Boys will bring you another incredible Newcastle moment as we countdown the 25 most iconic Toon moments of the decade.