West Ham United’s club record transfer bid for England striker Andy Carroll is a huge gamble for the Premier League newcomers.
The offer, thought to be around £17m, would see the Liverpool frontman become West Ham’s most expensive player; almost £10m more than their current record signing, Craig Bellamy. And should Carroll decide to leave Merseyside for the capital, West Ham’s chances of league survival will hang on one man.
For £17m on one player, unless you’re one of the top six clubs in England, is a huge gamble. Should West Ham sign Carroll for such a large fee, there won’t be much spare cash to throw around anywhere else. Allardyce may be confident that the rest of his squad is up to Premier League level, but clearly his front line is not ready if he feels the need to spend big on the England forward.
Carroll will be expected to hit the ground running, but a brief history of record-breaking transfers proves the price tag can often be too much to bear. Fernando Torres and Jose Antonio Reyes are two strikers this past decade that failed to live up to expectations when making respective big-money moves to Chelsea and Liverpool.
Middlesbrough fans will shudder in horror at the name of £12m flop Alfonso Alvez, while bench-warmer, Michael Owen, broke Newcastle’s bank at £16m in 2005. Carroll himself has failed to deliver at Liverpool, following his club-record £35m fee, and he looks set to continue in the footsteps of numerous flop strikers, should he stay at Anfield.
Upton Park may be the perfect destination for the big striker, who will no doubt fit into Allardyce’s style of play. But another record-breaking price tag may be too much for the forward, who has battled with that curse for the last 18 months, and could spell relegation for the Hammers if it goes wrong.
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