Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Had a Chance to Sign Carroll

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Had a Chance to Sign Carroll

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

STEVE Bruce once turned down the chance to sign Andy Carroll for pounds 4.5m, but that does not mean he does not think the pounds 35m striker has a bright future.

Gateshead-born Carroll could make his full Liverpool debut at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, after joining from Newcastle United in January.

Having seen his Wigan Athletic and Sunderland sides suffer at the hands of the England striker, Bruce is hoping opposite number Kenny Dalglish takes a cautious approach with his fit-again forward.

"When I was Wigan manager, he came on against us and played well, really well," the Black Cats boss recalled.

"We were hammering Newcastle 2-0 (in Lancashire on Boxing Day 2008) and Andy came on and won them a penalty (converted by Danny Guthrie) with two minutes to go.

"On the Monday morning I rang up (then-manager Joe Kinnear) and I said to him, 'Would you sell me Andy?' and they quoted me pounds 4.5m. To be honest, I seriously thought about it - however, in the end, we could only go to pounds 2.5m.

"I had (Emile) Heskey at the time and I did wonder if Heskey and Carroll would work. So Andy Carroll could quite easily have ended up being my player."

Within a month, Heskey joined Aston Villa for pounds 5.5m and a promising Latics season petered out.

Bruce also left to manage Sunderland that summer and came face-to-face with Carroll again last Hallowe'en. It proved another harrowing experience.

Although Carroll did not score in Newcastle's 5-1 win, his bullying of Titus Bramble was decisive. Little surprise, then, that Bruce is a big fan of the "throwback" striker. Bruce joked: "I am sure Andy Carroll will make his full Premier League debut against us, although I hope the niggle lasts a bit longer! "That will present a challenge both to him and to us. I honestly wish him the best of luck. "He has had a meteoric rise, he is a throwback to the good old days when I used to play against the likes of Joe Jordan. …

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