West Bromwich Albion have been urged to sign free agent striker Andy Carroll on a pay-as-you-play contract by former Baggies midfielder Carlton Palmer.
Albion have made an unbeaten start to the season under Valerien Ismael – with their 10 points from four Championship games meaning they’re only behind league leaders Fulham on goal difference.
Despite their strong start to 2021/22, which has seen them score a division-high 11 goals so far, one area they will likely look to improve on ahead of the end of the transfer window is the forward line as they look short of a central striker at the moment.
Speaking to This is Futbol, Palmer – who started his career at the Hawthorns and made more than 100 appearances for the West Midlands club – urged his former club to consider signing Carroll on a pay-as-you-play deal.
He explained: “I’m a big admirer of Andy Carroll as a footballer but he just doesn’t play enough games.
“If they could do a deal on the basis of he gets paid if he plays but not if he doesn’t, then why not? The boy can play, he is a big influence and I’ve heard he’s brilliant in the dressing room.
“The statistics show, over the years, he doesn’t play enough games. A permanent deal on decent money is a no-no for me. But if you can get him in on a pay-as-you-play contract, why not?”
Carroll has been a free agent since leaving Newcastle United earlier in the summer, having scored just once and added four assists in his second spell at the North East club.
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Albion could do with adding a new striker before the window closes, though there might be a temptation to stick with what they’ve got after a strong first few weeks of the season.
Even so, Carroll doesn’t look like the answer for the Baggies right now.
The towering forward can be really disruptive and destructive when he’s at his best but you’d question whether he has the physical attributes and the fitness to play under Ismael in a system that is so taxing.
The French coach requires his players to run and run and run, and I’m just not sure you’re going to get that out of the former England international at the moment.
He could cause chaos in the box, particularly from set pieces, but it would be a huge surprise to see Ismael sign the 32-year-old.