This is the story of one of the most unreasonable transfers the Premier League knows.
The ridiculous situation has its possible explanations, but 10 years later the answer to the question of how Liverpool turned Andy Carroll into the most expensive British footballer continues to be sought.
And in the eighth most expensive in the entire history of football.
The saga unfolded in January 2011.
The Newcastle teenager was in good shape and became the team’s top scorer in the Championship to help the Magpies return to the elite. He then scored 11 goals in one half of the Premier League and that was enough to reach the bombastic deal.
On the last day of the January transfer window, Liverpool threw the infamous 35 million pounds and took Carol as a replacement for the leaving star Fernando Torres.
The Englishman took №9 from Torres with the request to be the new leading figure in the attack of manager Kenny Dalglish together with Luis Suarez. In addition, he was only 22 years old and gave the impression of investing in the future.
The fact that he was injured at the time of the transfer seemed only a small and insignificant detail at the time, although it turned out to be significant for the future.
Injuries continued to haunt Carol during his 18-month stay at Anfield, and day by day the amount invested in him increasingly gave the impression that someone had forgotten to put the decimal point in the number 35.
Years later, more details about the transfer were revealed by the then football manager at the club Damien Comoli.
Comoli was Liverpool’s sporting director for a short period from November 2010 until his release in April 2012.
The owners of FSG were not happy with the unsuccessful and expensive selection and it is needless to say that attracting Carol was among the main mistakes of Comoli.
Last year, he revealed previously unknown details about the transfer and said that the “Magpies” most brazenly raised the price of their player when they found out how much fat Liverpool will receive for Torres.
On the same last night of the transfer window, the Spaniard moved to Chelsea for 50 million pounds (and in turn became a huge transfer shoot).
“The night before the last day of the transfer market, I received a call from a non-transfer person who told me that the president of Newcastle would approve the sale of Andy Carroll,” Comoli said.
“We were at a standstill at the time because Fernando was leaving and we didn’t know who to replace him with. I generally negotiated a deal with Newcastle that night, but the next day they read in the press how much we would get for Torres, so they raised the price. with another 5 million, which just drove me crazy. “
“Still, we decided to do it and waited for the American owners to wake up. I remember at one point going to Kenny Dalglish’s office and thinking for an hour and a half whether to take Carol or not.”
“I emailed the owners and told them I wanted to have a conference call. The owners, Kenny, the CEO and I discussed the situation and said this is a deal, this is the risk.”
“We voted and we knew we were paying more than the real price for Andy, but he was young, he was English and I told them that if things didn’t work out, we would sell him for 20 million to West Ham, back to Newcastle or Aston Villa. “.
“The scenario I had in my head was that it would either be a big hit or not, but we would still make money from it,” Comoli added. “We knew we were paying more, but we were also getting incredible money for Torres and Chelsea were also paying well above the real price.”
Photo: Getty Images
After the conference call, the club hierarchy decides to proceed with the transfer, which means that Carol must be brought by helicopter to sign on time.
There is another obstacle and these are the claims of the footballer’s agent.
“I think we voted around 5 in the afternoon and I called Andy’s agent, but he started explaining to me that he wanted this and that. He said he couldn’t do that if we paid 35 million, so he wanted more money.” .
“I told him” Look now, everything is very simple. Here is my suggestion, it’s 5 o’clock, the window closes after 6 o’clock, or you agree or you don’t. I’m not going to play games. “He called me again and we got along.”
At the time, the situation was also complicated for Andy Carroll himself, as he left Newcastle with total reluctance.
The attacker later shared his personal experience and admitted that he even wanted to fail the medical tests, if only the transfer would not happen. In Newcastle, however, they realized that the offer was too good and no one would ever pay such money for it again.
“You know, I was injured then and I just thought, ‘Oh, I hope I fail the examination.’
“I remember leaving Newcastle base in my teammate Kevin Nolan’s car because it was full of people in front. We went to them and watched what was happening on TV. And I said, ‘No, I’m not going.’ I had bought a new house and a cat! “.
“But then they told me, ‘No, you’re going, and that’s it.’
“Look, then I wanted to stay and on the way to the helicopter I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ What am I doing? “But when I went back and saw how it shaped me as a player and as a person, I would do it again. Maybe I needed to leave town to grow up.”
The tall and strong ram had the posture of a classic №9 and was expected to become a big star in the Premier League.
Shortly before joining Liverpool, he had made his national team debut. From there, however, his career took a sharp turn for the worse.
At the same time, Liverpool made a super transfer in January 2011 and bought Luis Suarez from Ajax.
Photo: Getty Images
While the Uruguayan became a hero for the fans, the Englishman was tormented by injuries and although he managed to score a total of 11 goals and had episodic flashes, at the beginning of the 2012/13 season he was transferred to West Ham.
A year later, the Hammers bought him for about $ 15 million to end his Merseyside period.
Today, the news about Andy Carroll is not as interesting as it was 10 years ago.
In recent days, it has become clear that he will leave Newcastle and look for a new team after the expiration of his contract.
In 2019, the striker returned to his home club, but managed to score a goal in the Premier League in 37 games.
Against the background of his entire career, the costly Liverpool affair was a real anomaly that remains forever in the folklore of English football.
But football invariably gives birth to such curiosities and in them is hidden much of its beauty.