Michael Carrick has revealed that he almost signed for Newcastle United rather than moving to West Ham as a youngster.
While Alan Shearer gets all the headlines when it comes to the one that got away, it is surprising how little is made of the fact that Michael Carrick was also on Newcastle’s doorstep – yet somehow was lost forever instead of becoming a Newcastle great.
“I had the chance to sign for them when I was younger but I chose to move away from home and go to London with West Ham.
“It was a big decision at the time but thankfully it worked out for me. It was close though,”
Going on to play for England and picking up Premier League winners medals as well as a Champions League winners one amongst others, ironically Shearer had only been at St. James’ Park one season after his £15m move, when Carrick moved to West Ham in 1997.
A product of Wallsend Boys Club, it is an even sadder situation when you take into account that for whatever reason Carrick chose the Hammers, despite his dad Vince being a volunteer at Wallsend BC and a big Newcastle supporter.
Just how good he is, was summed up by the fact that Manchester United were willing to pay £18m for his services from Tottenham.
A great footballer and passer of the ball, youn wonder just how his career would have turned out if he’d signed for Newcastle.
Whilst we were all spoilt (if you were around then) in the 1980s when Chris Waddle, Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne came through….only to eventually all be sold and move for reasons of ambition.
However, in the period since then, the four best players to be produced in the north east and all of them Newcastle fans, have been Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick, Fraser Forster and Andy Carroll, te four of them all representing England.
The first two allowed to slip through United’s hands as kids, while the other two only made a combined total of 23 Premier League starts before being sold by Mike Ashley – with Fraser Forster not even making a single first team appearance.
Since then he has starred in the Champions League for Celtic and after an £11m move to Southampton, currently has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season.
Let’s hope that if any of the current crop of promising young players at St. James’ Park has what it takes, they don’t fulfil their dreams elsewhere.