Reading have confirmed that Andy Carroll has rejoined the club on a deal until mid-January.
News of Carroll’s return to the club first came from the Reading Chronicle, who reported that the 33-year-old started training with Paul Ince’s squad at the start of this week. Ince then confirmed that the signing was close to being completed following Reading’s 3-0 defeat to Sunderland on Wednesday evening.
Paul Ince said: “I am really pleased to have Andy with us. Of course, a striker of his prowess gives us power and a battling presence at the top of the pitch and I’m sure that will translate into goals. However, Andy’s arrival also offers us another strong voice in the dressing room.
“He is a leader, both on and off the pitch, and having trained with us all this week I can already see the positive influence he will have on the players around him and the boost he will no doubt give to the fans.”
Head of Football Operations, Mark Bowen, added: “Andy is a striker with proven pedigree and so much experience in the game. It is also so important that he is a player who already knows this club and the fight we will need to show to rise to the challenges we expect to face during the course of this season. And, above all else, Andy is a top-class professional. So I’m delighted he has chosen to return to Reading!”
Carroll spent two months at the Select Car Leasing Stadium last season, scoring twice in eight appearances. The Royals actually only won one of the matches he played in, but the striker proved popular with both the squad and the fanbase before deciding to join West Brom in January.
After the transfer window shut a fortnight ago, Ince confirmed that the club would continue to look at free agents and earlier this week they confirmed the signing of 20-year-old midfielder Amadou Mbengue on a short-term contract.
The Royals boss also made no secret of his desire to add another striker to his ranks to support Lucas Joao and Shane Long. Joao remains one of the Championship’s most lethal finishers but can be inconsistent, while Long works tirelessly but at 35 years old it is unsurprising that he is not the same player that supporters remember.
Yakou Meite can also play upfront but is only just returning to fitness after another spell out injured, while Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan and Jahmari Clarke provide options from the academy but Ince appears unwilling to trust either of them at this point.
Carroll brings much the same qualities as he did last season. A different type of option in attack, the 6ft 4in striker is a focal point and aerial threat - but he also showed that he’s not bad with the ball at his feet either with two of the best disallowed goals you will ever see against Fulham.
Having clocked up 248 Premier League appearances for Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham alongside nine England caps, the Geordie adds more experience to a team that continues to show teething problems despite an encouraging start to the season.
Welcome back, Andy!