John Hartson has questioned whether or not Newcastle United can rely on summer signing Andy Carroll this season.
The BT Sport pundit did heap praise on the Magpies’ striker, but cast doubt over his fitness given his previous issues with injury.
Carroll arrived at St James’ Park with an complaint picked up from his time at West Ham last season, having missed 24 games through an ankle injury in the previous campaign [Transfermarkt].
“Andy’s a fantastic striker, you get him fit and you’ve got a real asset but how much can you trust him?”, Hartson told Football FanCast.
“I know Andy, he’s a great guy. He only came on a free transfer and his contract will probably be based on appearances so he’ll want to get himself fit, but you can’t really rely on having one centre forward who’s been injury prone.”
The 30-year-old has only managed to feature off the bench so far under Steve Bruce, with the Telegraph reporting that medical staff fear he won’t be able to start a game until Christmas.
With a player that has the injury record that Carroll does, there will always be questions regarding whether or not you can trust him. The truth is, Bruce should not care about what other people say, and he will be taking it game by game with the colossal Magpies’ forward. The 30-year-old has proved he can make an impact off the bench in consecutive games for the past month now, and has yet to pull up with an injury of any sort. Carroll is a fantastic option to have and gives Bruce a new dimension in the final third, which gives his side an outlet should they need it. Carroll has only completed 69 minutes across three fixtures this season but has still managed to win three aerial battles in each outing according to WhoScored, something which will definitely be utilised by Newcastle as the season goes on, and something that could stop people questioning whether he can be trusted.