Kevin Nolan has heaped praise on Steve Bruce after it was confirmed that Newcastle United have re-signed Andy Carroll on a free transfer.
Carroll, 30, was released by West Ham at the end of last season and although he has been without a club all summer, the Magpies confirmed just minutes before the 5pm transfer deadline on Thursday that the centre-forward has completed a return to St James’ Park on a one-year deal.
Ex-Magpies midfielder Nolan is thrilled to bits to see the Geordie target man back on Tyneside and is also happy with the reported pay-as-you-play deal that Bruce has snapped him up on.
“I think he goes back there a better man,” Nolan said live on Sky Sports News on Thursday [04:56pm]. “He’s got four kids now, he’s settled, he’s got a lovely partner.
“I’m absolutely delighted for him, I think it’s a great move.
“I think Steve Bruce had done a great piece of business. The deal he’s got him on is absolutely fantastic.”
Carroll is someone who will give 100 per cent for Newcastle. He is a boyhood supporter of the club and as he is reportedly on a pay-as-you-play deal, he will no doubt be extremely motivated to ensure he stays fit and plays regularly. Since he left St James’ Park for Liverpool in 2011, Carroll has developed into a very experienced, albeit injury-prone Premier League striker and as Nolan points out, he has turned from a boy into a man in that time. Bruce’s strike force needed adding to before the 5pm deadline on Thursday and getting in Carroll has done exactly that, plus he adds something that the other strikers don’t have – a huge aerial presence. While Joelinton is not bad in the air, Carroll is one of the best in the business at winning aerial duels and bringing team-mates into play. According to stats by WhoScored, Carroll won 9.1 aerial duels per 90 minutes in the Premier League last season. Salomon Rondon, who is also good in the air, averaged 5.0 per 90 minutes during his loan spell on Tyneside.