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Champion League

Andy Carroll set to leave West Brom



West Bromwich Albion striker Andy Carroll is set to leave The Hawthorns upon the expiry of his contract this summer.

What’s the story?

That’s according to The Athletic, who have revealed that the 33-year-old was told that he wouldn’t be offered a new contract by Steve Bruce.

The striker joined the West Midlands outfit in January after the conclusion of a short-term deal at Reading, who coincidentally face Albion this afternoon.

Carroll had also been released by Newcastle United last summer after two seasons back at his boyhood club and will now search for his fourth club in less than a year.

Bad news for the Baggies

Although the Englishman’s scoring record for the Baggies isn’t particularly impressive, with just three in 15 appearances, goals have been at a premium all season for the Albion.

West Brom have scored just 47 goals in 44 league matches this term, with only five other teams scoring fewer in the Championship. Indeed, Carroll’s contributions in the final third amount to 6% of their league goals for the entire season in a short space of time.

Having been relegated from the Premier League last year, their first season back in the second tier has been a disaster, particularly in the second half of the campaign. With just seven league wins since October, the Baggies have gone from promotion contenders to being amongst the mid-table fodder.

This form saw Valerien Ismael replaced by Bruce in February, with the appointment proving uninspiring for the Baggies despite the 61-year-old’s experience of getting clubs out of the Championship.

Going into next season, promotion will naturally be the target for a club of West Brom’s size. However, they will need as much experience and quality as possible in their squad, and Carroll certainly has the former, if not the latter too.

Whilst providing a crucial 17 goals and 12 assists during the 2009/10 season to get Newcastle back up to the Premier League, the striker also has experience of playing in the Europa League and also boasts 248 top-flight appearances.

In terms of other strikers currently in Bruce’s roster, Karlan Grant has had a good season, with his 15 goals making him by far West Brom’s top scorer this term.

Should WBA keep Carroll?

However, January signing Daryl Dike has had a torrid time since making the move to The Hawthorns, featuring just twice for the Baggies before being struck down by injury, having been signed by Ismael, who got the best out of the American last season at Barnsley.

If Dike struggles for game-time again next season, through injury or otherwise, then Albion are going to need serious investment in attack if they are to put together a serious promotion push.

Therefore, offering Carroll an extra year’s contract would have offered little risk, and his departure could prove to be bad news for the Baggies if they find themselves short of centre-forwards.

AND in other news: West Brom now eyeing move for “super” £42k-p/w ace, supporters will love it