Wednesday, March 1

Carroll's Chinese whispers

Last night's Evening Standard claims that West Ham turned down offers from three Chinese clubs for Andy Carroll before the Chinese transfer window closed yesterday. The Chinese league is certainly throwing ridiculous amounts of money at Premier League stars, paying £50 million for the likes of Oscar. Obviously every player has his price, but West Ham are still bizarrely dependent on the injury-prone Andy. Of his main rivals, Valencia ended up on loan at Everton and being chased by police Wacky Races-style as he was stretchered off in an Ecuador World Cup qualifier. Sakho's back went for a whole season and Zaza was returned to sender, only to score a belter against Real Madrid. 

It's hard to believe that Carroll is in his fifth season with West Ham during which we've finished 10th, 14th, 12th, 7th and hopefully top half this time. Yet apart from his first loan spell, every season has been hugely disrupted by injury. But there's still that nagging sense that sometime he might actually have an injury-free season and be different class. We've seen how good he can be during his recent spell of six goals in eight games, and with the club's terrible record of buying strikers, it's right to hold on to Carroll, whatever the state of his groin niggles, ankles, knees, neck and heels. 

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