Noel Whelan heaped praise on Newcastle United attacker Andy Carroll and claimed he was a great “weapon” for the Magpies to have.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds United attacker suggested that Carroll was a dying breed in the Premier League as there aren’t many players like him nowadays.

The 30-year-old made his first start of the season in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday, racking up his first assist of the campaign in the process.

Whelan explained that Carroll causes opponents a completely different kind of problem from what they were used to and added that most centre-halves likely hated facing him.

“He’s a great weapon for the football club to have,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“There are not many players like him these days in the Premier League, he is going to cause a completely different kind of problem for defenders and teams when it comes to set-pieces and balls from wide areas.

“If you can keep him fit, you’ve got a strong all-round centre-forward on your hands which I’m pretty sure most centre-halves these days would hate to play against.”

Carroll has played a total eight times for Steve Bruce’s side this season after joining the Magpies in the summer following his West Ham contract expiring.

The experienced forward, who has nine caps for England, only managed to play a total of 14 times in his 2018/19 campaign for West Ham, with an ankle injury keeping him on sidelines for a huge chunk of the season.

In other Newcastle United news, Danny Mills claimed a senior Magpies player is heading for a January exit.