• Premier League

I should not have spent £15m on Carroll - Sullivan

ESPN staff
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Carroll is yet to play this season © PA Photos
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West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has admitted his regret at spending £15 million on striker Andy Carroll.

Carroll has not played for the Hammers since making a loan move from Liverpool permanent in the summer.

The 24-year-old is recovering from a double fracture in his right foot and will not return until at least the New Year.

Speaking to the BBC's Football Focus, Sullivan said: "Had we known he would be out for this long, we would not have signed him.

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"We are not a rich enough club to deal with that. You know any player can get injured, but we can't buy a player knowing he is going to be out for half the season.

"When we signed him we were assured by the medical staff that the very, very latest he would be back was 1 September. That would have meant he would only miss two league games.

"If you ask me the same question at the end of the season, I hope I will be able give you a different answer and say 'Yes, it was the right decision to sign Andy Carroll'.

"He is a fantastic player and on his day he is unplayable. We love him and that is why we signed him. He is desperate to come back and he is sweating blood in training."

The striker has spent the majority of his rehabilitation receiving specialist treatment in Belgium and the Netherlands, with a variety of techniques that ballet dancers use to build strength their feet.

Sullivan added: "He has been all over Europe for treatment and he has begged me to come home. He has rung me up and said, 'It's doing my head in being here, I really want to get back as soon as possible, I really want to play'.

"Even now we haven't got a date that he could be back. He could be back in three weeks, he could be back in six or eight weeks. I hope he might make a contribution in the next three or four weeks, that might be 20 minutes as a sub.

"He is not going to be quite the player he was at the end of last season until he has played some games.

"He is a fantastic player, don't get me wrong, but I only wouldn't have signed him because I can't have that amount of wages and that amount of transfer fee on a player who isn't going to play a minimum 20 or 30 games a season, hopefully 38 games a season."

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