Andy Carroll faces Liverpool axe, but could he be reborn in Italy?
The big number nine could follow in the footsteps of Joe Jordan and Mark Hateley with Milan move
COULD the last refuge of the traditional English centre forward be in Italy? And will Andy Carroll be able to resurrect his career by following in the footsteps of John Charles, Joe Jordan and Mark Hateley if he does end up heading to AC Milan?
Such a move appears to be on the cards as Liverpool close in on Roma striker Fabio Borini and there is universal agreement that the big striker who arrived at Anfield from Newcastle in a £35m deal 18 months ago could be surplus to requirements under new manager Brendan Rodgers.
"Having built [his former club] Swansea into a free-flowing, short passing side during his time in Wales, hopes are high Rodgers will fashion Liverpool into an equally stylish outfit. For many it is hard to see how Carroll, the club's £35m record signing, will fit into that system," explains The Daily Telegraph. "Rodgers' football philosophy has more in common with the Spanish side which won the European Championships without playing a recognised centre-forward, let alone one in the style of a traditional English target man."
There is plenty of debate about what the future holds for Carroll, who has managed just 11 goals in 56 appearances since arriving at Anfield in January 2011.
Things appeared to be looking up for the big 23-year-old when he hit form at the end of last season and forced his way into Roy Hodgson's squad for the Euro 2012 tournament, where he scored an impressive goal against Sweden. Yet he may be looking for pastures new when he returns from holiday.
"Liverpool have not made Carroll available for transfer, but there is a growing feeling within the club's hierarchy that the time could be right to cut their losses 18 months after he was signed from Newcastle United," says The Times.
With the English game under scrutiny following Euro 2012 and the 'false-nine' position, as perfected by Barcelona's Lionel Messi, in vogue the traditional British number nine is becoming an endangered species in the Premier League.
However, there could be an escape route for Carroll, as his talents are admired in Italy.
AC Milan could be one destination for the striker, who has impressed the Italian outfit with his strength and power. They are said to have expressed an interest in taking the Liverpool striker on loan, and they have a history of taking punts on burly British centre-forwards. Joe Jordan played for Milan in the early 1980s and was followed by Mark Hateley and Luther Blisset, with varying degrees of success.
Another legendary centre forward to come good in Italy was John Charles who scored 93 goals in 150 games for Juventus between 1957 and 62.