LONDON (Reuters) – Former England striker Andy Carroll has rejoined his boyhood club Newcastle United, eight and a half years after leaving them to join Liverpool in a then British record transfer.
The injury-plagued 30-year-old was a free agent after being released by West Ham United at the end of last season.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Tyneside-born Carroll told Sky Sports News on Thursday. “On the way up it was butterflies in the stomach and I couldn’t believe it really.
“It’s been a long time. It’s unfinished business. I left on a high and I want to come back to where I was, playing games, scoring goals and enjoying it really.”
Carroll, who has nine England caps, is something of a throwback centre forward, devastating in the air and boasting a silky technique, but his injury record is poor.
He failed to make much of an impact at Liverpool, who paid 36 million pounds for Carroll as a replacement for Fernando Torres, and joined West Ham, initially on loan, in 2012.
Carroll scored 33 goals in 126 league appearances for West Ham but was spent large amounts of time in the treatment room.
He did make his mark, though, with the Hammers fans, scoring a spectacular bicycle kick volley in a Premier League win over Crystal Palace in 2017.
Carroll underwent ankle surgery in April but said he hopes to hit the ground running on his return to Newcastle.
“I need to bide my time, I have to get fit and get back in the game and work my way in,” he said.
Carroll scored 31 goals in 80 league appearances after breaking into Newcastle’s first team, playing a key role in their promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)