By Noel Whelan

13th Jan, 2021 | 7:00am

'Incredible' - Exclusive: Top pundit stunned by the shape Newcastle player is in

Noel Whelan has claimed Newcastle United colossus Andy Carroll is in “incredible” shape and looks better than he has for years.

The former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, was “massively impressed” by the 32-year-old against Arsenal and claimed he “offered more in one game than Joelinton has all season”.

Carroll starred on what was just his fourth start of this campaign as the Magpies were knocked out of the FA Cup after extra time.

However, the nine-times England international dropped back to the bench for Tuesday night’s Premier League fixture against Sheffield United and entered the field with just over 13 minutes to play.

Whelan was stunned by the centre-forward’s work rate and defensive work at the Emirates.

“Considering that was his first start in a long time, the amount of work he got through was incredible,” he told Football Insider.

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“You can see how important he is. He holds the ball up, is so good defensively and centre-halves hate playing against him.

“I cannot remember seeing an Andy Carroll as fit as that, quite frankly. I thought he was massively impressive.

“I felt like he could have and perhaps should have stayed on for the second half of extra time on Saturday.

“He created chances, brought others into play and did more than his fair share of defensive work.

“I think he offered more in that one game than Joelinton has offered all season. I would choose Carroll over Joelinton all day long.” 

In other news, Newcastle United tipped to seal two signings in January after double update from the BBC.