Liverpool sign Carroll in club record swoop

Liverpool signed England striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle for a club record transfer fee on Monday believed to be 35 million pounds (56 million dollars).

Updated: Feb 01, 2011, 08:51 AM IST

London: Liverpool signed England striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle for a club record transfer fee on Monday believed to be 35 million pounds (56 million dollars).

Carroll agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Reds after passing a medical and will wear the number nine shirt vacated by Fernando Torres after his move to Chelsea.

"Andy Carroll has tonight completed his transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool FC and signed a 5 and a half-year-deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2016," a statement on Liverpool`s website confirmed.

"The Club agreed a record transfer fee with Newcastle earlier in the day for the transfer of the England international striker."

Carroll`s capture was briefly a British transfer record but that milestone was quickly erased as Liverpool sold Spain striker Torres to Chelsea in a deal worth 50 million pounds (80 million dollars).

Carroll handed in a transfer request earlier on Monday in a successful attempt to persuade Newcastle to accept Liverpool`s third bid after two previous offers of around 30 million pounds were rejected by the Magpies.

Liverpool were finally able to announce the deal just minutes before the close of the January transfer window after Carroll flew to Merseyside for a medical.

The 22-year-old has impressed this season, scoring 11 goals in 19 matches to become the highest-scoring Englishman in the Premier League so far this term.

Carroll is four years younger than Torres and although his goalscoring record does not yet match up - with 34 in 91 matches for Newcastle and a brief loan spell at Preston - Liverpool`s owners Fenway Sports Group are investing in the potential of a player who made his England debut last November.

He will form a new attacking partnership with Luis Suarez, 24, whose prolific record in Dutch football - 111 goals in 159 matches - was one of the reasons he was Liverpool`s primary target.

Suarez cost 22.8 million pounds (36.5 million dollars) to sign from Ajax and, although the size of the Carroll deal threatens to overshadow his arrival, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish believes the Uruguayan is the kind of natural leader and gifted striker whose presence will allow Carroll to thrive at Anfield.

Suarez was supposed to be the support for Torres he so desperately needed but instead will link up with Carroll and the likes of Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt.

"I think he is a top player. He is a fantastic goalscorer. He`s a good leader and he was captain of Ajax, which is unusual for a forward to be captain - that tells us something really positive about the lad," Dalglish said.

"He will come here and we`ll try to get him playing the way he played at Ajax.”

"We have to make sure that Luis Suarez, who is a fantastic footballer, is given due credit for coming in and the owners are given due credit for putting their hand in their pocket."

Carroll was involved in several off-field incidents this season that raised questions about his character.

But England coach Fabio Capello was impressed enough to hand him an international debut in a friendly against France and Dalglish believes he is good enough to step into Torres`s boots.

Liverpool fans may have to wait to see their new hero make his debut however as he has been sidelined for several weeks with a thigh problem.

Bureau Report