When Liverpool signed Andy Carroll as a replacement for the outgoing Fernando Torres on the last day of the winter transfer window of the 2010-11 season, both of these strikers, especially Torres, were a force to reckon with in terms of goal-scoring. This is evident by the fact that Torres was bought by Chelsea for £50 million, which was then, the highest transfer fee paid by a British club for a footballer. Liverpool bought Carroll for an astonishing £35 million, making him the costliest British player ever at that time.
The next few seasons saw an incredible descent in the form of these two players. Torres was a total disaster at Chelsea and at AC Milan thereafter. He eventually returned to his boyhood club Atletico Madrid, where he is currently playing. Andy Carroll sustained an injury in December 2011, which delayed his Liverpool debut until March 2011, and he scored his first two goals for his new club in April 2011 in a 3–0 victory over Manchester City. In August 2012, Liverpool agreed a £2 million loan deal that saw Carroll spend a season-long loan at West Ham. This move was made permanent in June 2013 for a fee of £15 million.
Andy Carroll’s performances for Newcastle United earned him a call up to the England squad and he has made 9 appearances for the English national team, scoring twice. Torres, on the other hand has been a veteran for the Spanish national team. He has donned the Spanish jersey 110 times and found the net 38 times, thus registering himself among the leading goal-scorers for Spain. However, these two players have hardly played for their national sides since Euro 2012, mainly, because of their lack of form and the likes of Diego Costa, Pedro, Rooney, Sturridge and Kane establishing themselves in their respective national teams. It’s no wonder that both Carroll and Torres have not been included in their respective national sides for Euro 2016.
There’s a twist in the tale though. The last few weeks have been quite tumultuous in the La Liga, with Barcelona making a mess of what seemed like an assured league title, thus making the title race severely competitive. Atletitco Madrid are on par with the table-topping Catalans at 79 points and the man who has kept Atleti’s hopes alive is Fernando Torres. The 32-year-old forward has netted in each of his last five outings for Atletico Madrid. He has struck red hot form at the right time as there are just four matches remaining the La Liga. Diego Simeone must also be hoping that Torres maintains his ruthless streak because the CL semifinal clash against the mighty Bayern Munich is just around the corner. Torres has already scored his 100th goal with Atlético Madrid in a 3–1 home league victory against SD Eibar and he marked the occasion of his 300th appearance for Atlético Madrid by scoring the winning goal in a 3–1 victory over Valencia.
Andy Carroll has had an injury-marred 2015-16 season, but has nonetheless scored for West Ham against almost every major club in the EPL. On 24 October 2015, Carroll scored his first goal in nine months, coming on as a substitute and scoring a header to defeat champions Chelsea 2–1. At the beginning of 2016, Carroll started for West Ham against his former club Liverpool, in a 2–0 victory with Carroll scoring again from a header. This was the first time Carroll had scored in consecutive games in nearly 12 months. A few weeks ago, Carroll scored his first hat-trick with West Ham, in a 3–3 draw against Arsenal. Carroll scored in his third consecutive Premier League game for the first time in his career as West Ham beat Watford, 3-1 this week.
Both of these players, especially Torres, have the experience of playing for their national sides in major tournaments.Torres was an integral part of the dominating Spanish side between 2008 and 2012. scoring in the finals of both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. Andy Carroll, too, was in a similar kind of form that he is in today, when he was selected to play for England in Euro 2012. These two late bloomers must have grabbed the attention of Vicente Del Bosque and Roy Hodgson respectively in the last few weeks. If Torres and Carroll continue to play with this form for the next few weeks, the coaches of the La Roja and the Three Lions will surely face a dilemma in the goal-scoring department.