Paying £35million for Liverpool flop Andy Carroll was a gamble that Sir Alex Ferguson would ‘certainly’ never have taken, the Manchester United boss admitted today.
The 23-year-old striker sealed the second-biggest transfer in British history to Liverpool after just 19 games with Newcastle, following their return to the Premier League in 2010.
And although the business dealings of his move is something that was out of the player’s control, the pressure of living up to a colossal price tag was too much for the youngster as he was forced out of Anfield by Kenny Dalglish and now Brendan Rodgers.
His loan move to West Ham came as a surprise to many as Liverpool were left with just one out-and-out striker in Luis Suarez – but the United boss could not resist a dig at his old foe Dalglish for ‘not doing his homework’ before getting out the cheque book.
“I’d certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money,” Sir Alex told the club’s official website. “We’ve gambled on young players in the past, maybe a couple of million or whatever, but when you get that level – £35million – you really have to do a bit more homework and see how he is in his second season maybe.
“It’s not a lot of games that he’s had. He’s a big lad, a great header of the ball, aggressive and is a big bugger. You know he’ll be a handful for defenders for us on Wednesday.”
Dalglish brought in England trio Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing for around £70million and faced heavy criticism for failing to introduce them into the club as first-team regulars.
But with a new team and a chance to flourish as West Ham’s first striker, Sir Alex insists that the only person Carroll has anything to prove to is himself.
“I think he only played something like a dozen games for Newcastle and then he had to deal with a £35million transfer to a club like Liverpool when he’s young. It’s quite a big jump for him you know.
“I think it’s up to the boy to improve himself.”