Last night provided the appetizer, and today the long-expected entree, with Andy Carroll officially unveiled by West Ham and wished the best of luck(!) by Liverpool ahead of his permanent move to London. After the way last summer unfolded--with new manager Brendan Rodgers actively shopping a player he either didn't favor or didn't see fitting--a loan ended up as the best temporary solution, and a permanent move this summer was always on the cards, even for those of us that held out some sort of foolish, misguided hope that he'd have a chance to come good in a Liverpool shirt.
That won't end up happening, and for the player's part it's a move that makes a world of sense and one about which he's seemingly excited (via the West Ham link above):
"It's fantastic for me to be here. I really enjoyed last season, and that shows in me coming back and making it permanent. The fans, the lads and the Club itself has been great to me, and what I wanted to do was come back here and play football.
"Since the end of the season I've had a lot of time to think, I've missed it and that's why I'm back. Getting promoted the season before last, then finishing where we did - we did great, and it can only get better for us. The way the Club's being run, obviously getting the new stadium and everything like that, it's only going up."
It's a deal that will see Liverpool recoup upwards of £15m, with a bundle of add-ons and at least a few million more pounds available for the club depending on the stipulations present in the contract. That's not ideal given the amount of money the club spent to bring him in back in January of 2011, but it's a significant sum of money, one which many would have taken in a heartbeat for a player that never found his footing at Liverpool.
Best of luck to Andy Carroll at West Ham, and let's hope both he and Liverpool move on from this in positive directions.
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