Manuel Pellegrini says Andy Carroll’s unique qualities can be vital to West Ham United’s future success.
The No9 scored his first goal since April 2018 in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round win over Birmingham City at London Stadium, a month after returning from the ankle injury which had ruled him out since the first week of pre-season.
And Pellegrini says Carroll’s size, aerial ability in both penalty areas and hunger to do well in a Claret and Blue shirt will all stand him in good stead as he bids to earn more minutes in the manager’s starting XI, as well as a new contract with the Irons.
I think if Andy recovers his shape and continues working every day of the week without any injuries there are not too many players with his quality
“We are very happy with how Andy played,” the Chilean confirmed. “If you review his game, he scored, his play was good and he missed another chance to score, he cleared two or three aerial duels in our box, so in the way he plays, he will return to be the player we know he can be.
“I never had any doubt Andy Carroll wants to stay here. He is happy here, he wants to play for the Club, he is happy in London and he doesn’t want to go anywhere. He wants to play like every player but he must be patient. When you come back from a long injury and you are not competing weekly, you have to be careful not to get another injury.
“That’s why we are giving him some amount of minutes every game. I think if he recovers his shape and continues working every day of the week without any injuries there are not too many players with his quality.”
Carroll’s next opportunity to show his qualities could come on Saturday, when Arsenal visit London Stadium in the Premier League.
The centre forward scored a hat-trick against the Gunners for West Ham in the club’s final meeting at the Boleyn Ground in April 2016.