'Carroll could come back to Newcastle' - Perch

The Magpies' defender will be tasked with the job of marking Liverpool's record signing on Sunday, but believes that the forward may play for the Toon again one day

Newcastle United defender James Perch believes Andy Caroll may one day make a return to the club and pull on the famous black and white shirt again.

With the 23-year-old struggling for a regular place in the Liverpool starting XI and unable to find any goal-scoring form, the rumours have been circulating that he could be angling for a move back to his hometown club in the near future.

Newcastle host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and Perch is set to partner Mike Williamson at the heart of the defence as he aims to fill the void left by injured skipper Fabricio Coloccini.

Perch will be tasked with marking the £35 million man and the former Nottingham Forest player admitted Carroll may be tempted to return home in the future.

“I can see a time when Andy may want to come back to Newcastle," he told the Sunday Mirror.

"He’s only young and has a lot of playing years in front of him. He’s a Geordie lad and had a good rapport with everyone at the club. The fans would welcome him back but it is up to him.

“I think the criticism he has had was unfair. He is a young lad with a massive price tag on his head. I am guessing it can weigh heavily on his shoulders and when you’re not scoring goals in the first few games, you can get stuck in a rut and it can drag on a bit.

"He has experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I think Andy has been ­playing all right."

Perch joined Newcastle in July 2010 and played alongside Carroll until the striker's high-profile move to Liverpool last January. The 26-year-old conceded his former team-mate will be "a handful" when the two sides clash on Sunday afternoon.

“Every time he plays I want him to do well and I want him to score – but obviously not against us. Andy is a handful. We’re wary but we won’t give too much respect out.

“We were disappointed when he left but that has been turned around by what has happened since.

“What his transfer did was to give the club the funds to go out and buy players like Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye.”

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