Premier League • England

Striker admits he didn’t want Liverpool transfer and ‘wished to fail medical’ prior to club-record move

Andy Carroll became Liverpool record signing in January 2011 after leaving Newcastle

Andy Carroll became Liverpool record signing in January 2011

Former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has staggeringly revealed he did not want to move to Anfield and secretly hoped he would fail his medical after dropping a major reveal on his club-record move from Newcastle United.

The 34-year-old former England striker last month joined his eighth professional club after securing a move to French Ligue 2 club Amiens. Signing a one-year deal at the Hauts-de-France based club, in the very north of the country, Carroll, who boasts nine caps for England won between 2010 and 2012, has two appearances to his name.

Moving to France from Reading, where he triggered a release clause in his deal following the Royals’ relegation to League One at the end of the season, represents a first spell abroad for the Gateshead-born frontman.

Some would argue it’s an unusual career trajectory for a player who has played the length and breadth of England and in both the Premier League and the Championship over a 18-season playing career.

However, Carroll insists it is not the biggest upheaval he’s made in his life.

And reflecting on his blockbuster £35m move from hometown club Newcastle to Liverpool in summer 2011 – which was then a club-record signing for the Merseysiders, was the hardest period of his career.

Indeed, the approach from Liverpool – then managed by club legend Kenny Dalgish for a second time – came rather out of the blue.

And with Carroll, just 21 at the time of the move and very much establishing himself as a hero at the club he supported as a boy, the player has now revealed he didn’t actually want the transfer to go through.

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Carroll confesses he wanted to fail Liverpool medical

At the time, Liverpool’s initial £30m offer was rejected by Newcastle. However, with the Magpies pushing to accept the deal, Liverpool raised their offer to £35m, giving Carroll little option but to travel to Merseyside and finalise the transfer.

Speaking to L’Equipe about his career so far and the move to Anfield, Carroll admitted he hoped he would fail his medical so the move would not go ahead.

“In fact, I wanted to stay, but from the moment Liverpool made this incredible offer, on the last day of the transfer window, I found myself, without really understanding why, in a helicopter,” he said.

“As I was injured, I remember thinking, ‘I hope I fail the medical exam’.”

Carroll, however, was keen to stress though that the move to Liverpool did work out to be the best, especially with Newcstle willing to sell. And he was keen to stress that he was soon glad to make the move.

He added: “Then, to be honest, in hindsight, I think this transfer was a good thing.”

When asked how his time at Anfield helped him, Carroll added: “Because it made me grow out of my comfort zone.”

The striker spent a total of 18 months at Liverpool, before joining West Ham on an initial loan with the deal later to become permanent.

His time at Anfield was beset by a number of niggling injury issues, the player making 58 appearances in total, scoring 11 times.

With a total of some 403 career appearances to his name, Carroll now has 94 senior goals to his name. He will hope to reach the century during his time in France with his new club currently ninth in the Ligue 2 table with four wins and three defeats from their nine matches played so far.

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