Since his mega-bucks move from Newcastle United to Liverpool, the 23-year-old has scored just eight goals in 47 appearances which equates to a goal every seven-and-a-half weeks.
There have been 832 goals scored in the Premier League so far this season and Carroll has scored three of them.
Newcastle notched up the same amount in their ruthless first-half display against West Brom on Sunday – a Magpies side which was valued at £34.5m – £500,000 less than Liverpool paid for Carroll.
The Reds have only won two of their last 11 league games and are practically all but out of the Champions League qualification frame after a miserable home defeat by lowly Wigan Athletic.
With eight league games to go, now is the perfect opportunity for Kenny Dalglish to put the question to bed: Is Carroll suited to Liverpool, and will he ever make the grade at Anfield?
He stepped off the bench on Saturday and many observers noticed his eagerness to make a difference.
He certainly added some much-needed venom to Liverpool’s anaemic attack after Jordan Henderson – another England tyro on the decline – failed to supply Luis Suárez with any level of service or firepower.
Maybe he was venting some frustration. After all, Carroll has only started 22 of Liverpool’s 41 games this term.
Out of these, three consecutive starts has been the longest spell in the starting line-up he has been afforded to convince the naysayers that he has what it takes.
How is he, or was he, supposed to form a formidable partnership with his team-mates with so little playing time? How can Dalglish ascertain whether it was money well spent or a dreadful error of judgement?
Now is not the time to introduce 17-year-olds. Now is the time to delegate the responsibility of preserving Liverpool’s slim chances of making the Champions League onto Carroll’s shoulders to test his strength with a string of games.
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