Former England international Darren Bent admits he has been left bamboozled by Newcastle’s United signing of Andy Carroll last summer.
Although the Sky Sports pundit feels that the deal was a ‘masterstroke’ with the fans, he believes that the England international hasn’t and won’t make much of an impact for the Magpies this season.
“It was a masterstroke with the fans bringing Andy Carroll back but it was also like: ‘Well really? Do you really need to go and get someone like that?’,” he told Football Insider.
“When he’s fully fit, when he’s fully, fully fit – which has been a while now – then yes, he’s a handful, he can do things. I’m not sure training a couple of times a week and getting 20 minutes here and 20 minutes [there] is really going to change lives.”
You can see what Bent is saying here, and he’s not the first person to suggest that the Carroll signing was something of a publicity stunt on Newcastle’s behalf. But, as Bent says, he’s only training occasionally and has yet to start a game since re-joining the club. He’s come off the substitute’s bench for all five of his Premier League appearances this campaign, playing just 90 minutes in all for the Magpies [Source: WhoScored.com]. In that time he’s averaged just 0.2 shots, key passes and dribbles per game. So not only has he only appeared briefly, but he’s not really done much during his time on the pitch thus far. Ultimately the former West Ham United man probably wasn’t the most necessary summer signing, but he was a low-risk one. He’s on effectively a pay-as-you-play deal, and so it wasn’t much of a gamble bringing him in. Still, you hope for more from this as the season goes on than what he’s provided so far.