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Striker still weeks away from debut

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has revealed that he understands how difficult a decision it was for new signing Andy Carroll to leave his home-town club and come to Anfield.

The 22-year-old joined the Merseyside club in what was for a brief time a British transfer record at £35 million, only to be eclipsed by Fernando Torres’ £50m move to Chelsea

Along with the signing of Carroll, Liverpool also secured a deal for Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.8m in what will be a new-look attack.

And although Reds boss Dalglish knows it was a "wrench" for Carroll to leave Tyneside, he says it shows how the standing of the club can still attract the leading players.

“Andy is a young boy with a fantastic talent and this is a great opportunity for him,” Dalglish told the Liverpool Daily Post.

“He was in the England squad last year and did very well. I know Newcastle will be deeply hurt to lose him but it’s a great signing for us.

“He was leaving Newcastle, which was a wrench for him as a local boy, but if he was going to go anywhere there was only one club he’d want to come to.

“Anyone who had any doubts about hunger or anybody taking this club forward, they’re gone now. In the summer we’ll be looking forward to trying to enhance what we’ve got.”

Liverpool take on Stoke City at Anfield on Wednesday, with Suarez expected to make his debut after receiving clearance from the FA, but Carroll is still some weeks away from full fitness having not played since December.

“At the moment he’s got a bit of a knock and is probably a few weeks away from playing, but the signing wasn’t made to cover a few weeks,” Dalglish continued.

“He signed for five-and-a-half years and there’s a lot of weeks in that time when he’ll be fit and playing for us.”

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