Allardyce: Carroll move a gamble

Sam Allardyce believes both Liverpool and Newcastle have taken a risk in agreeing the £35 million deal which took Andy Carroll from Tyneside to Merseyside on transfer deadline day.

The 22-year-old boasts 11 goals in 19 Premier League appearances this season, and it was this impressive form which last Monday prompted Liverpool’s new owners New England Sports Ventures to make him the most expensive English footballer in history.

While Allardyce concedes that the Anfield giants needed a new striker to replace the outgoing Fernando Torres, he feels there is an element of a gamble in their decision to pay so much for such a young player.

“The only way Kenny Dalglish could let Torres go was to bring in Andy Carroll. While the price might be over inflated, it was something Liverpool had to do to cover the loss of Torres," the 56-year-old told Yahoo!

“Carroll is potentially a very good signing and that’s what they have spent money on, the potential. That they are spending money on his potential is a risk, unlike Torres who is 27 and the real deal at the moment.

“Over the next few years I expect him to get better and better but nothing can be guaranteed in this game.”

The £35 million fee which Carroll commanded has been viewed by many as a triumph of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s bargaining skills.

Allardyce agrees the offer was impossible to refuse, but believes Ashley’s failure to sign a replacement striker means only the way the Toon Army finish this season will determine whether or not the sale was good business.

“I think Newcastle’s position is that £35 million, in business terms, is something that they cannot turn down,” he said.

"In the end everyone equates value, and if players’ value is well in excess of what you had in first place, you have to accept it.

“If they stay up it is great business, if they don’t it is very difficult to persuade Newcastle fans that the transfer was a good thing to do."

However, in spite of the risk they have taken in selling their star striker, former Newcastle manager Allardyce is confident his old club will avoid the drop.

“I am sure Newcastle will be safe for this season, and perhaps they can use the money to strengthen the side again in the summer.”

Sam Allardyce was speaking to Yahoo! on behalf of the League Managers Association. Visit The Dugout at

By Liam Twomey