He's been dismissed as a £35million flop in some quarters, but Henry Winter believes Andy Carroll should be in the England squad for Euro 2012.
The Daily Telegraph's football correspondent was speaking on the Sunday Supplement after watching the Liverpool striker net two winners in a week, firstly against Blackburn in the Premier League and then in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.
Carroll has only scored four Premier League goals all season and hasn't played for England since coming on as a substitute against Wales last September, but with Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two games of Euro 2012, Winter believes he should be included in the 23-man squad.
He said: "When Rooney got sent off everyone was asking who should lead England's line and we all had to file our probable team for the first game of the Euros.
"I said Carroll's got to play - and then I actually thought a couple of days later that it was absolutely daft because he was playing really badly.
"But there's something about Andy Carroll. When he stepped on the pitch for England at Wembley - he's played three times and scored once - he doesn't look overawed by the occasion.
"We know what that England shirt does to players; they become inhibited, they go into their shells and they lose their club form.
"So far he hasn't had much club form to lose, but I just think there's something about Carroll. You can play him up there on his own and you can play Rooney in his favoured position behind him.
"England have to take five strikers to the Euros because Rooney's suspended and because we always get injuries with strikers in championships anyway. I would rather over-club on the strikers.
"Carroll's had a good week and let's not get carried away, but I would definitely take him in the five."
Fabio Capello gave Carroll his England debut against France in November 2010 and he scored his first international goal against Ghana in March last year, but he was then left in the wilderness after questions were raised over his fitness
Capello suggested the striker needed to change his lifestyle to become an international player, but Winter feels his performances for Liverpool this week have indicated that his fitness is improving.
"One of the interesting things for Andy Carroll this week was the fact that he's scoring late on and that's he's a threat late on," Winter added.
"There's always been the question mark over how dedicated he is in training and the off-field issues which Capello raised to us when we were out in Brazil.
"The fact that Carroll scored in injury time at Ewood Park and in the 87th minute at Wembley on a sapping pitch - having never hidden and run all afternoon - just shows that, actually, the fitness probably is there now."