Exclusive: Bent claims Newcastle can bring back 'feel-good factor' in free agent hunt
Darren Bent says that a return to Newcastle United for Andy Carroll would be “one for the fans” but insisted that his injury record is something for the Magpies to be wary of.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa and Sunderland hitman described Carroll as a “risk” and a “gamble” after a number of injury-stricken seasons at West Ham and Liverpool.
Carroll has been linked with a move back to St James’ Park as Steve Bruce looks to bolster his attacking options on Tyneside, the 30-year-old now a free agent after his contract at West Ham came to an end.
Bent says the nine-cap England international’s capture could bring a sense of positivity back among the Newcastle faithful and tipped a pay-as-you-play deal to work for both player and club.
“It would be one for the fans, it would bring back the feel-good factor I guess,” Bent told Football Insider.
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“He did really well up there, it’s a risk and a gamble. He’s never really had a real full season where he’s not missed a few games through injury, the last few seasons he’s barely played because he’s been injured a lot.
“Maybe if they can do a pay-as-you-play, that might be a good option for them and he might be happy to do that being back at home, local lad, boy done good.”
Carroll made 90 appearances for Newcastle after coming through the youth ranks in the north east, hitting home 33 goals in two-and-a-half seasons before his move to Liverpool in 2011.
He has gone on to play 200 games and score 45 goals since leaving the Magpies, with just 14 appearances under his belt for West Ham last season.
In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED the club are looking to snap up another newly-available forward from their Premier League rivals.