After just half a season as Newcastle’s number nine, Andy Carroll walked out on the club for a big money move to Liverpool in January 2011.
At least that’s how it looked on the outside. But in an interview with Newcastle’s official website, Carroll has explained that’s not how it happened at all.
“I was on the bike doing some work and it came up on Sky Sports News – £20 million rejected, £25 million rejected, £30 million rejected,” he said.
“Everyone’s coming in saying, ‘what’s happening?’, and I was like, basically, ‘I’m not going anywhere, I’ve got a new contract here’.
“And then suddenly it was, ‘go and see the gaffer’. I went to see the gaffer. I literally got out in Kev (Nolan)’s car. Kev took us to his house, and next thing I knew I was in a helicopter to Liverpool.”
And just like that, he was gone. Carroll became the most expensive Englishman at the time, costing Liverpool a huge £35 million. He stood alongside the Reds’ other arrival Luis Suarez, shaking hands with his new manager Kenny Dalglish.
While Newcastle were without their latest local hero, and a load of cash in the bank that wasn’t reinvested. Instead, Shefki Kuqi arrived on a free.
I remember being livid at the time, especially as I had Carroll’s name on the back of my shirt…
But if he’d had it his way, the striker would’ve stayed at St James’ Park. In the interview, it is stated that Carroll had actually spoke to nufc.co.uk on the day he joined Liverpool, stating that he was staying with Newcastle.
Of course, that interview was never published by the club as Carroll got set for a new challenge at Anfield.
Imagine if Carroll had stayed. Would he still be the number nine? Would he have had a better career? Who knows.
The fact remains, Mike Ashley sold him that day for a huge amount of money. Now he’s back in 2019 on a free, desperate to prove he’s not a crock who’s past his best.