As speculation continues over Andy Carroll's Liverpool future, TEAMtalk blogger Rich Kitto argues against a loan move away from Anfield.
"It's something I would have to look at, I have to be honest" - Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager.
As the rumour mill begins to gather pace post-Euros, Andy Carroll yet again finds himself spread across the back pages amid rumours that Brendan Rodgers could be willing to send him out on loan.
But is striking such a deal sensible business for all parties involved - or a refusal to face the inevitable?
Upon questioning, Brendan Rodgers admitted that shipping out his £35million cumbersome Geordie frontman for a season had become a consideration, with suggestions from the media that the club have already begun the process of testing the water with apparent nibbles from the likes of Newcastle, West Ham, Fulham and AC Milan.
But is this still really an effective way of managing a player that doesn't appear to fit into your plans? Especially one that is the eighth most expensive player in the history of world football, and although not ground breaking, at least showed signs of recovery towards the back end of last season and during Euro 2012.
I find the notion of sending Carroll out on loan bizarre in current circumstances. It's been said that the big yin will have no place in Rodgers' preferred 4-3-3 formation, where passing, movement and mobility are all crucial to retaining possession and moving the ball forward with pace and peril.
Whilst this may prove to be the case, Liverpool do not appear to be in such a financially sound position to effectively release £35million worth of asset with little coming in the opposite direction. Although the club would recoup a portion of his wages in return for his loan, this would disappear quickly in new contracts for current players, and expenditure on new ones.
For me, Carroll deserves more time to show what he is capable of, as he was certainly not the only Liverpool player to underperform last season, yet took a lot of the stick. Though it may be seen that he does not have a natural position in the newly formed Liverpool line-up, he provides a battering ram of a Plan B if called upon.
He consistently showed for Newcastle, and in parts for Liverpool and England, the potential he has to wreak havoc on defenders. He changed the game for the Reds in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, giving John Terry more of a going-over than the prosecution in the defender's current trial, and scored a superb header against Sweden in Kiev last month.
Given a bit more time and a proper return to fitness, there is no reason why he could not provide a fantastic outlet for the energetic Luis Suarez and a target for Steven Gerrard's pin-point deliveries when called upon.
But this is not my main grievance with the idea of sending Carroll out on loan; there just doesn't appear to be enough reason to justify such a short-term move based on successes of other such transfers in the past. Whilst the advantages are there to be seen for 'blooding' youngsters, loaning out players that are already considered mature footballers rarely works out for the parent club, and smacks of delaying the inevitable.
Liverpool again are a perfect example of that. Whilst Joe Cole appeared to have played his part for Lille out in France and was unfortunate with his first spell for the Reds, Alberto Aquilani has been a disaster. Bought for around £20million in 2009, the Italian's potential, form and transfer fee have plummeted since loan moves to Juventus and AC Milan. It seems unlikely that Aquilani will get another chance at Anfield, and the club look set to make a huge loss on the player supposed to replace Xabi Alonso.
Though as mentioned, it can be a fantastic option for teams that want to develop and toughen their youth players at 'lesser teams', as Arsenal proved with Jack Wilshere, Chelsea with Daniel Sturridge and Ryan Bertrand, and Manchester United with Tom Cleverley. But seldom will an experienced player ever come back to his club after spending time out on loan and be a better player for it - or perhaps more importantly, be worth more money.
More often than not, the parent club will continue to pay the player when no longer an asset for them (such as Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor) and then flog the player on their return for far less than they purchased them. If a manager feels that a player does not fit into the team for whatever reason, then that player should be moved on with immediate effect.
So if Rodgers feels that Carroll is not currently suited to his style of play and ethos, then getting him back after a season on loan will certainly not change this. Rodgers' thinking must be more in the hope that he goes elsewhere, finds his form and his goalscoring touch, and comes back worth £20million instead of the £10-12million he appears to be currently valued at. However, based on past accounts, and the fact that it has taken him 18 months to 'find his feet' at Liverpool, this seems very unlikely.
The manager must either decide to stick with him, be patient, and learn how he can be effective in the way he likes the game to be played; or sell him. It's as straightforward as that. The latter would leave a huge dent in the ego of the club, but will at least provide some return which can be invested into the likes of Fabio Borini or Gaston Ramirez.
Were Rodgers to do the latter, it would be a brave move and certainly show a real sign of intent. But if he were to lend him to a Premier League rival for a season in the hope that he does the Reds a favour, the feelings would lean more towards desperation.