By Darren Bent

8th Feb, 2020 | 3:08pm

'Big miss' - Exclusive: Darren Bent frets over absent Newcastle star after Bruce update

Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll has been a “big miss” for manager Steve Bruce during his injury layoff, according to Darren Bent.

The former Sunderland and England hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the homegrown hitman could have taken some pressure off the struggling Joelinton had he been fit.

Carroll has missed the last five games across all competitions for the Magpies but Bruce has revealed he is hopeful of having him back for the Premier League clash against Arsenal in a week’s time.

While the former Liverpool and West Ham man is yet to score during his second spell at his boyhood club, Bent says that the 31-year-old’s impact has been missed during his absence.

“As an impact player, winning the ball and knocking the ball down, he’s a big miss at the minute,” Bent told Football Insider.

“He wasn’t scoring a lot of goals and setting the world alight but he was playing well – if you asked him, he’d probably tell you he wants to be scoring more goals.

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“Just having him there, having the option there would be a big, big help so the quicker they get him back the better – just to push Joelinton and maybe take some of the pressure off him.” 

Carroll has played 14 times for Newcastle since returning to St James’ Park on a free transfer last summer, with the colossal hitman still waiting to score his first goal back.

He netted 33 times after breaking through the youth ranks on Tyneside, moving to Liverpool for a record-breaking £35million before heading to West Ham.

In other Newcastle United news, Kevin Phillips says he can see why the Toon Army love one of their current favourites.