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Departing West Ham Star Was Robbed Of His Potential By An Injury Curse He Just Couldn’t Shake

Andy Carroll

Having missed 152 matches during his seven-year stint at West Ham, it was no surprise when it was announced that Andy Carroll would leave the Hammers this summer.

His career has been one full of promise, blighted by bad luck with a succession of injuries that have stopped him really fulfilling his potential.

It is easy to forget that he was Liverpool’s record signing when he was signed for £35m from Newcastle on the final day of 2011 January transfer window.

Snapped up as a replacement for the Chelsea bound Fernando Torres, he was given the number nine shirt and began his Anfield career full of promise with an impressive double against Manchester City.

Brendan Rodgers’s arrival as manager at the Reds, however, spelt the end of his brief spell on Merseyside and the Hammers were the beneficiaries with Carroll joining on an initial loan deal in the summer of 2012.

Despite a hamstring injury and a knee issue, he managed 26 appearances during his first season, hitting seven goals and providing four assists. His £15m in July 2013 was a calculated risk at the time, but many felt he was worth the gamble at 24 years of age.

A foot injury, however, hampered him in the early months of the 2013/14 campaign and it began a trend, which meant he started nearly every season at the club on the treatment table.

Knee injuries, foot issues, groin problems, ankle surgery, you name it, Carroll had been out of action and unable to have a full preseason in the vast majority of his seven years with West Ham.

Still, even with all his injuries, there were many memorable moments. His hat-trick against Arsenal in the 2015/16 season was a particular highlight. The following campaign, a spectacular bicycle kick against Crystal Palace showed the man had skill as well as brawn.

He may have been a battering ram, but Carroll’s left foot was also something special. He rarely lost out in the air against defenders, and his trademark headers will be what most people will remember him for, but he could hit a shot from long-range as well.

It’s shame, then, that his talent has been pretty much lost due to his injury issues. Perhaps, in the later stages of his career, he will get some respite from his problems, and he can revive his fortunes. A return to Newcastle may be a possibility or perhaps a Championship club may consider him.

Mind you, any team may want to give him a pay-as-you-play contract rather than the six-year deal he was given by the Hammers back in 2013.