Former England captain Alan Shearer is confident that £35m Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has the ability to forge a successful career for club and country. Shearer told several newspapers today that the 22-year-old former Newcastle centre-forward would overcome a slow start to his Anfield career and establish himself in the England team.
Carroll has struggled to live up to his price tag since joining Liverpool from the Magpies in January, scoring only once this season in the league while facing criticism over his lifestyle from England manager Fabio Capello. But Shearer is adamant that Carroll is on the right path to success and believes he will benefit at Liverpool from the guidance of Kenny Dalglish.
"Andy is a young and inexperienced lad with a lot of pressure on him but he will come good," added Shearer, who played under Dalglish at Blackburn during the mid-1990s. "Yes, there will be times when people question him but he's at the right club. At Anfield, he's got a great manager who understands the trials and tribulations of being a young footballer.
"When I moved to Blackburn, I had great guidance there and that was Kenny. Kenny will protect him and look after him as he did me at Blackburn. He did that in a fantastic way. Once he settles down, starts to play well and score, you will see the fearsome centre forward that we saw at Newcastle and you'll see the reason why Kenny paid £35 million for him. Andy is talented. He is a nightmare for defenders to play against if given the right service and if he is fit enough."
Shearer said he expected Carroll to cement a partnership with Wayne Rooney in the England set-up. "I do see him as an England centre-forward. One hundred per cent. Wayne Rooney will always be number one. Andy can be his partner and he will be. I definitely look at Andy with England as a long-term thing," said Shearer.