ALAN Pardew would love to see Andy Carroll back at Newcastle United – but he doesn’t expect the striker to return any time soon.
Carroll will face his former club in the colours of West Ham United at Upton Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
The 25-year-old was sold to Liverpool almost four years ago in a record-breaking £35million deal.
And the Gateshead-born forward has been repeatedly linked with a return to Tyneside ever since.
Newcastle tried and failed to re-sign Carroll in the summer of 2012, and United manager Pardew feels he will again pull on the black and white of his hometown club one day.
“I think he would (want to come back to United in the future), and I hope he does come back to his home town,” said Pardew. “He has got that love here. I really enjoyed working with Andy. I think he’s a terrific player.
“I know we get linked with him every two weeks, which is always probably going to happen whether it’s me or another manager.
“So I’m not going to hide from the fact that I like him. I think he’s a good player.
“I’m not sure that it’s something that’s imminent for us in the this window, because he looks fairly happy to me at West Ham.
“I think it’s difficult to take players who are happy out of Premier League teams. It’s financially difficult.”
Carroll has been beset by a series of injuries in recent seasons and he only made his seasonal debut early this month after summer surgery on his ankle.
Pardew has likened him to similarly-powerful Duncan Ferguson, who was also held back by injury during his time at Newcastle and Everton.
He said: “I’m pleased that he’s fit and not injured, as that’s been his biggest problem since he left us.
“I think Sam (Allardyce, West Ham’s manager) was right in his assessment of Andy. He’s now worked with Andy for a while. He’s sometimes too brave for his own good.
“He’s going full-hearted for challenges when he’s off-balance.
“He does that in training as well as in games, so, of course, when you’re in a rehab situation he’s over-zealous at times purely because he’s got that good, football aggression.
“But I don’t think there’s anything structurally wrong with him – or a major issue. He’s just that type. Duncan Ferguson used to get a lot of injuries.
“It comes with that role.”