February 24, 2011 | In: Articles

Harper sad to see Carroll go

Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has admitted he was disappointed to see Andy Carroll leave the club, but backed him to achieve great things in his career.

In an astonishing transfer deadline day at the end of January, Carroll made a dramatic £35million move to Liverpool as the Reds sought a replacement for Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres.

The striker briefly became a British record transfer before Torres moved to Stamford Bridge for £50million later that evening, but stands as the most expensive British player ever.

It has been a dramatic rise for the 22-year-old, who played just half a season as a regular in the Premier League with the Magpies before making the move to Anfield, scoring 11 goals in 19 league appearances.

Many of the Toon Army faithful were critical of the player moving on despite being a local hero on Tyneside and the man they felt would emulate club legend Alan Shearer as an iconic number 9.

Harper has been a one-club man his whole career at St James’ Park and had to bide his time for over 15 years to eventually become the club’s No.1.

However he showed no resentment towards Carroll’s decision, but he conceded his frustration at the timing of his sale, which gave Newcastle no time to find a replacement.

“It was very disappointing how he was sold and we didn’t have the opportunity to replace him,” he told the Daily Mail.

“But hopefully the money will be wisely spent and it will prove a good bit of business for us – £35million is an incredible amount of money and time will tell.”

Harper pin-pointed Carroll’s contribution to getting Newcastle back into the Premier League as a major stage in his development, and backed Reds boss Kenny Dalglish to coax the best out of him.

“He probably benefited from our relegation, got his chance and was a key part of us getting promoted,” Harper added.

“He had an unbelievable 2010. I’ve known him since he was 6ft 3in. We knew there was a player waiting to develop who could become a real handful.

“Great lad, keen, works hard on the training ground, and he was settling down under Kevin Nolan.

“He has a fantastic opportunity at Liverpool and a manager who will nurture and help him, as Dalglish did with a young Alan Shearer.”

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