According to the Northern Echo, Steve Bruce wants to extend Andy Carroll’s second spell with Newcastle.
The local hero returned last summer, signing a one-year deal on transfer deadline day.
His return provided a massive lift for the fans, who welcomed Carroll back with open arms.
There were concerns about his fitness, but he’s probably played a lot more than some fans expected. However, Carroll hasn’t featured since a substitute appearance in the FA Cup replay against Rochdale.
The target man has been creating goals rather than scoring them, having a big impact on the pitch despite failing to open his account for the season.
So why should Newcastle extend the contract of a 31-year-old striker with massive injury problems and no goals to his name?
His experience is invaluable. The young players look up to him and can learn from him. Joelinton must surely be benefiting from Carroll’s presence.
And as long as he’s on a pay-as-you-play deal, it’s not a waste of money. It’s a low risk, incentive-based contract.
However, Newcastle must only extend Carroll’s contract on one condition – they must sign another striker as well.
We took a risk starting the season with Joelinton, Carroll and Dwight Gayle. Joelinton had never played in the Premier League, Carroll’s fitness was questionable, and the same can be said for Gayle. On top of that, the latter has often struggled in the top flight.
Newcastle must bring in a striker this summer to provide competition for Joelinton. Carroll should not be his direct rival.
The main benefit of having Carroll on the bench is that he brings something different. He can bully defenders and win headers, which is a useful trait if you’re chasing a game. But his time as a number one striker in the top flight is over.
But really, is there any other Premier League club that would take a punt on Carroll?
A new deal suits both parties, but it must coincide with another striker arriving at St James’ Park as well.