THERE’S been plenty of number crunching over Andy Carroll and Michael Owen.
But the figures the fans of West Ham and Stoke will be most interested in are the number of goals each can get.
It’s a massive, and costly, blow to West Ham that Carroll (inset) was injured during an impressive debut against Fulham.
It’s also a setback to the player himself, who seems desperate to get a once highly promising career back on track.
He seemed destined for big things when Liverpool splashed the cash to bring him in from Newcastle.
But the departure of Kenny Dalglish and arrival of Brendan Rodgers changed everything.
It says something about the way Liverpool have been operating that they have loaned out someone who cost £35m – and failed to bring in a replacement.
West Ham, who paid a £1m fee to a facilitate a season-long arrangement which apparently gives them first option on a permanent deal, will really benefit from having a physical presence like Carroll offers.
So they will be hoping his hamstring heals in less than the six weeks it’s estimated he could be out.
As for Owen, he hasn’t played much football of late, although Stoke manager Tony Pulis has pointed out it’s not because of fitness issues.
That said, the striker has missed out on a proper pre-season, so will take time to get up to speed.
There’s no doubt that Owen is an excellent player – just look at the stats – but there will be concern among Stoke supporters at the way his career has drifted in recent years.
Pulis proved he has an eye for a good deal by taking Peter Crouch to the Potteries.
Hopefully Owen will prove as effective.