2012/13 English Premier League
First appearing as a late substitute for Newcastle at the age of just 17 years and 300 days, Carroll became the youngest ever player to represent the club in Europe, in a match against Palermo in November 2006. After being awarded the 'Wor Jackie Milburn Trophy' in 2007, for being the brightest rising star of North-East football, Carroll spent an unsuccessful six month loan spell at Preston North End, managing just one Championship goal in 11 appearances.
Upon his return to Newcastle though, his quality began to show, and the departure of several key attacking players following the club's relegation to the Championship in 2009, proved to be a blessing in disguise for the striker. Scoring 17 goals in 39 appearances, Carroll formed a solid partnership with Peter Lovernkrands, with the duo scoring more than half of the club's goals in the season as they were promoted to the Premier League at the first attempt, as champions.
Back in the top flight, Carroll was relishing the chance to test himself against the best and continued his prolific scoring form from the previous season, ensuring that he was the Premier League's leading English striker for much of the season. High-profile goals against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool saw his star continue to rise and he was linked with a big-money move away from St James' Park. Sure enough, after Liverpool sold Fernando Torres for £50 million, they dug deep to bring Carroll to Anfield for £35 million on January 31, 2011, making him the most expensive English footballer of all time.
His career has, however, been blighted by a number of negative off the field incidents, as he has twice been in court charged with assault. But if he keeps his focus on the pitch, he could be one of the best.
Strengths: A true No. 9, Carroll has the strength and power to match it with the very best defenders in the Premier League. His outstanding heading ability, coupled with a strong work ethic, make him a handful for any opposition.
Weaknesses: His temperament off the pitch is the main issue, while his inexperience also leads him to make the odd rash decision.
Career high: Scoring an exceptional hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Aston Villa, marking the perfect return to the Premier League for Newcastle on August 22, 2010; it was one of a number of impressive displays that led to his first England cap against France in November.
Career low: Amongst the number of off the field incidents Carroll has been involved in, the most embarrassing from a playing perspective would have to be being sent home whilst on international duty for the England Under-19 side, after breaking a curfew during preparation for a match against Romania U-19.
Style: Powerful, strong and confident, a potential star of the future.
Quotes: "As for Carroll, he is somebody with a genuine chance of emulating Alan Shearer, but history tells you that guys who continually find themselves on the front page never turn into anything." Former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen, November 2010.
Trivia: Part of Carroll's bail conditions for one court appearance was that he was forced to live with club captain Kevin Nolan, who put him on an 11pm bedtime.
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