When Andy Carroll left Newcastle United last January for £35m, he became the most expensive England player ever. The new record amount paid for a British player, was done so when Andy Carroll, Newcastle academy product, had only been capped by his country once and had only recorded 14 Premier League goals. Now, a year on from his move from the black and white of the North East to the red side of Merseyside, the 6’3 striker has so far only returned a pitiful 4 PL goals in a Liverpool shirt and could be on the verge of having his transfer fee ridiculed even more.
Andy Carroll’s struggle has been well documented: at the time, finding a Liverpool fan willing to justify the fee paid was as hard as finding one that wouldn’t miss Fernando Torres. Bizarrely, the combined £85m strike duo have performed more like a strike force worth a tenth of that; or in playing terms, a strike force of Emile Heskey and Kevin Davies; they’ve scored just as many since the record-breaking moves. Unless Carroll improves significantly and quickly, it is possible that he is to be sold at a considerable loss, despite Dalglish’s iron will over the matter, “Andy is young. But he’s an excellent player and will be a valuable asset for us. I don’t understand the obsession. The price tag is irrelevant. We’re delighted with the business we did in January for Andy Carroll.”
However, this possible January signing for Liverpool may well contrast Carroll’s fee and talent like never before. On the surface of it, an £100k signing from a striker plying his trade in the IFA Premiership for a semi-professional club, is nothing like the Dalglish signings so far: £35m for Carroll, £25m for Suarez, £20m for Henderson and Downing. However, as Dalglish has said, “The price tag is irrelevant.
If we get someone in on a Bosman, does that mean he is rubbish? Should he not play because we haven’t paid any money for him?” And he has answered his own question with Bellamy this season, who has contributed with 2 goals, 2 assists and over 400 minutes of PL football this season. So, if Dalglish does move for this £100k hit-man of the IPA Premiership, it might not be too long before he’s redounding to a far greater extent than the man who cost 350 times his potential transfer fee.
But who is he? Well, the striker, who only made his semi-professional debut last year, has scored 17 goals so far this season and stands an inch shorter than Andy Carroll, is Rory Donnelly of Cliftonville F.C. The prolific youngster started to attract interest, initially from the Football League, when he hammered four goals home in one game, in November. Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin confirmed that an un-named club had expressed an interest in Donnelly, but confirmed that no bid had been made, “We won’t stand in his way but it has to be right for him and the club,” said Breslin. Just over a month later and the list of clubs chasing his signature is growing, with Everton, Brentford and Swansea, also looking to sign him in January. As of yet, only Swansea had lodged an official bid, £100,000, which has been accepted.
But, the 19-year old Cliftonville striker was allegedly holding talks with Kenny Dalglish on Tuesday about a possible move to Anfield, having been contacted by the Reds boss on Sunday. Dalglish said of the matter, “We’ve registered our interest, that’s as far as it goes,” but if a deal is to be done, it must be done soon, as the Belfast outfit want Donnelly’s future to be sorted out before Christmas. With Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers already having an £100k bid accepted for him and Everton manager David Moyes already having met the striker, Dalglish will have to move quickly and efficiently if he hopes to sign the youngster.