Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says that West Ham striker Andy Carroll has “nothing to prove” ahead of Sunday’s clash between the two clubs.
Carroll, 25, joined the Hammers from Liverpool in the summer for a club record fee of £15m, having impressed West Ham boss Sam Allardyce during a season-long loan stay at Upton Park last season.
A heel problem has interrupted the England international’s season, but having put his injury problems behind him, the Hammers number nine is set to make his first appearance against the club which spent £35m on him before offloading him 20 months later.
“I’m not sure Andy will feel he has a point to prove – he knows he’s a top player, West Ham paid a lot of money for him and in the style they play he’s one of the best there is,” Rodgers told The Metro.
With two goals in his last four Premier League starts - including the crucial opener against Sunderland on Monday night - Carroll is thriving under the Hammers’ more direct approach, according to Rodgers.
“Andy wasn’t let go by me because he wasn’t good enough let’s get that clear. His style of play he’s one of the best in Europe. Attacking the ball, heading, he’s outstanding,” explained Rodgers.
“But we came in with a certain approach and philosophy, and it’s not to say he couldn’t fit into that style, but he needed to play. There were financial considerations too, and it was really a question of him getting the chance to play regularly, which he’s done brilliantly at West Ham.”