10. Andy Carroll
Six foot four striker Andy Carroll had everything in his favour to go down in Newcastle United folklore. Born in Gateshead, he grew up supporting his local team, someday wanting to pull on the black and white shirt and play for them. History also pointed to success for Carroll, given Newcastle's glittering history when it comes to strikers donning their number 9 shirt and the big names from the area that had taken football by storm. Despite that, however, the club's academy hadn't produced many talented stars in recent times.
Looking back now, the key to his blossoming career was Newcastle's relegation to the Championship in 2009, which cleared the way for his chance as the likes of Michael Owen and Mark Viduka move on. Playing in a team that was clearly too good for the league benefited Carroll, who finished top scorer with 19 goals as the club bounced back to the Premier League at a canter. The big question then became whether the youngster could take his great form into the top division, but, with the number 9 now on his back an early season hat-trick at home to Aston Villa quickly gave the answer.
England call ups, rave reviews and transfer speculation inevitably followed and in January 2011, Carroll moved to Liverpool for £35 million. The price tag weighed heavily on his shoulders and things didn't work out. From there he moved to West Ham where injury blighted his admittedly-popular spell, before finally returning to his boyhood club in 2019. How different things might have been had he never left.