Andy Carroll has predicted a bright future for Liverpool after scoring his first two goals for the club in Monday’s 3-0 win against Manchester City.
Carroll, who became Liverpool’s record signing in a 35-million-pound transfer from Newcastle United in January, blessed the move by bagging a brace either side of a Dirk Kuyt strike.
The victory lifted the Reds to within five points of fifth-placed Tottenham on the English Premier League table, though Spurs still have a match in hand.
But despite the possibility of missing European action next season, Carroll believes Liverpool owner John W Henry and manager Kenny Dalglish are building something special behind the doors at Anfield.
Much of that has to do with the formative strike partnership between Carroll and former Ajax striker Luis Suarez, a duo bankrolled by the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea in the January window.
But Carroll was also keen to highlight the impressive debut of 18-year-old defender John Flanagan on Monday, and said he believes the club will attract big names in July when the transfer window re-opens.
“We’re just putting a team together now,” Carroll told Liverpool’s official website.
“Me and Luis are new, Flanno (Flanagan) played his first game at the back – and I thought he did great. It shows what we can do for next season.”
Asked if Liverpool can land star players without the lure of European competition, Carroll said: “There are massive names here, it’s a massive club and I don’t see why we can’t attract big names.”
Carroll’s goal celebrations belied a man grateful to have finally opened his account at Anfield after a frustrating wait with injury, but afterwards the striker was keen to play down his individual accomplishments and talk about the team.
“It was unbelievable. All the lads played well and obviously I got the goals I’ve been wanting,” he said.
“I’m here to score goals, though the result is the most important thing and we got the three points.”
Flanagan, a product of Liverpool’s youth academy who was informed two hours before the game he would be starting at right-back, dedicated his debut to his father.
“My dad was on the books (at Liverpool) and didn’t make it. He is proud. He was up there in the stands and this is for him,” Flanagan said.
“I was obviously nervous, but I just tried to get the job done and we got a good win. It’s a dream come true.”