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West Ham needs to move on from Andy Carroll

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The big man can’t stay fit

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Would it be rude to send Mandarin-to-English dictionaries and ex-pat guides to living in China to the London Stadium for Andy Carroll? Yes? Oh, well, then maybe the next time Pedro Obiang organizes a team dinner he should suggest Carroll get Chinese take-away instead. Still rude?

Andy Carroll is injured yet again. At this point, West Ham United needs to move on, as the team can’t afford to tie up wages and roster space to a player that can’t stay fit for less than 20 games a season. Carroll is as dominate in the air as almost any player in the Premier League, but he’s not good for anyone when he’s sitting in the treatment room or on the bench. He’s the key player for the Hammers, scorer of remarkable goals, and a leader on and off the pitch. And for the good of the team, he needs to find another place to play.

Andy Carroll is a seductive talent, because when he is fit and on his game, he is a bull in a China shop, using his strength and his 6’4” inch frame to bully centrebacks in the penalty area to create chances for himself and teammates. He is easily the most talented forward, if not player, currently at West Ham. But as much as his talent is undeniable, so is his history of injuries that have plagued his career since he left Newcastle United for Liverpool.

Obviously, a big money move to China would be “best” for the club, as whatever fee that a Chinese team would be willing to pay would likely be more than whatever another Premier League club or other European club would be willing to pay for his services. It would be a slight discredit to the player, as he still isn’t at a point, age wise, where he would be looking for a move to a less glamorous league to just go through the motions and collect a paycheck. Of course, that might be the only way that Carroll moves on. A team in the MLS might be a good destination (the Philadelphia Union could use a good striker, for example) but the transfer fees that MLS pays would make it extremely unlikely that he moves stateside, as most of the “Designated Players” that are signed on are out of contract.

While the team would love to cash in on Carroll’s fame, the most important thing is for Carroll to move on, find a team or league where he can stay fit and play football, and for West Ham to bring in a striker or two to fill the huge gap that is left whenever Carroll can’t play, which is far too often for the lynchpin of the team’s offense. The club needs a dependable goal-scoring star to get the fans on their feet at the new Stadium and make the people remember Carroll like they remember Dean Ashton, a talent whose career was cut short by injury and bad luck.