Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will wait until the summer before making a decision on Andy Carroll’s long-term future.
The striker, 24, has spent the season on loan at West Ham, scoring seven goals in 23 appearances and winning a recall to the England squad for next month’s friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
Since taking charge at Anfield last June, Rodgers has given little indication that he sees Carroll, whose contract with Liverpool runs until 2016, as anything more than a squad player.
But the manager credited Carroll for being prepared to move elsewhere in search of regular first-team football.
Rodgers said on the club's official website: “The idea for Andy to go out was to get games; he wanted to play, he didn’t want to be sat here playing second fiddle to anyone and I commend that because some players are happy to maybe sit on the bench and not play.
“But he wanted to go out and play football. He’s gone to West Ham, which is a great club, and under Sam Allardyce he’s done very well. So we’ll assess that at the end of the season and take it from there.”
Carroll has scored six goals in his last 12 West Ham appearances, have missed a chunk of the season through injury.
He was ruled out for a month with a hamstring problem shortly after joining West Ham, then suffered a nine-week lay-off after twisting his knee in November.
Rodgers said: “He has obviously had a difficult season as a whole because of injury, so it’s been a little bit frustrating.
“I suppose it’s similar to last season, he showed that bit of form here at the end of last season and he’s obviously shown that again at West Ham.”