Andy Carroll’s injury record since signing for Liverpool is certainly not the best and any club that attempts to sign him this summer is taking a clear risk in this regard on what will be a somewhat immense investment.
The news is that Liverpool have accepted a £15m offer from West Ham for Carroll and that the Hammers are still happy to make that purchase despite the striker having a heel injury that could keep him sidelined for as long as four months.
However, Carroll is not rushing on deciding where his future lies, despite a fairly productive loan season at Upton Park.
The difficult part is that Carroll should arguably be playing European football and at his best he could even be a force in the Champions League.
But of the Premier League clubs to finish above West Ham, none arguably play to his strengths, which will make it difficult for him to nail down a regular place.
The one exception is possibly Everton, but moving across Merseyside will not endear him to Liverpool supporters and the Toffees are not the biggest of spenders, which cast doubts over whether they have £15m to stump up even if they were interested in Carroll.
Therefore, the only other move aside from West Ham that Carroll could expect is a return to Newcastle, with Alan Pardew known to want to bolster his striking options.
Newcastle would also potentially get Carroll for less than £15m, if they inserted a sell-on clause into his contract when joining Liverpool, as Tottenham previously did with Robbie Keane before selling him to Liverpool.
But West Ham’s style arguably suits Carroll more than any other club and with the World Cup next summer, he needs regular first-team football when fit to boost his chances of making the England squad.
Unlike most long-ball teams, West Ham are better at getting the ball into the final third before looking to pick out a striker, rather than hitting balls straight from defence which require striker involvement some 35 yards from goal.
This gives Carroll a decent number of scoring opportunities and in Matt Jarvis, the Hammers have someone who loves nothing better than getting crosses into the box that the likes of Carroll can attack with regularity.
West Ham are 7/1 to be relegated next season, but this would seem especially unlikely if Carroll did opt to move permanently to Upton Park.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication