With Andy Carroll signing a one-year deal at St James’ Park last summer, the striker is now entering the final 4 months of his current contract.
When he completed a dramatic return to Tyneside last August, the club stated it was an “initial one-year deal” he’d signed – suggesting a potential extension could be activated. But with him struggling to stay fit since Christmas, The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has this week responded to inevitable questions about his future.
Here’s what he’s had to say when asked if the club are planning to hand the 31-year-old a new deal:
‘I think Steve Bruce wants to see it happen given the impact Carroll’s had at the training ground but his recent unavailability must have the club questioning an extension.
‘He’s played once since Christmas but he’s not had serious injuries, just niggles related to other pre-existing conditions.
‘He’s been a key man in a few performances and has played well when he’s been on the field but will that be enough?
‘As enjoyable as it has been to have him back, I don’t think it’s a straightforward decision.‘
It’s clear Bruce would love to keep him around – with Douglas highlighting how influential he’s been off the pitch this season – however the club will be having second thoughts if he fails to stay fit between now and the summer.
His wage packet is reportedly around the £20,000 mark when he doesn’t start, and only goes up considerably when he starts, but we may be reluctant to keep him around for morale boosting purposes if his injury issues show no sign of easing.
It’s worth mentioning that he’s not suffering from any issues with the ankle he had reconstructive surgery on last year, and is instead managing a rib injury – something that’s seen him manage just 11 minutes of football since the turn of the year.
Despite failing to score since his return, he’s played his part when he’s featured, bagging 4 assists in 13 starts.
He’s a handful, a leader, he gives his all when fit and has added some much needed experienced to the side – but there’s only so much he can bring to the table if he’s watching on from the sidelines.
Hopefully he can get himself fully fit and earn an extension in the coming months as a result.