Andy Carroll’s strange squad number revealed after the ex-Newcastle United and Liverpool striker signs for Reading

Andy Carroll has completed his move back to Reading, but he will wear a strange squad number at the Select Car Leasing Stadium this season.

Carroll, who joins Reading on a short-term deal, had been a free agent since leaving West Brom, where he worked under former Magpies boss Steve Bruce, earlier this summer.

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This will be the 33-year-old’s second spell at the Royals following a two-month spell with the club at the end of 2021.

Reading currently sit fourth in the Championship after suffering a heavy 3-0 defeat to Sunderland on Wednesday.

Boss Paul Ince said: “I am really pleased to have Andy with us. Of course, a striker of his prowess gives us power and a battling presence at the top of the pitch and I’m sure that will translate into goals.

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“However, Andy’s arrival also offers us another strong voice in the dressing room. He is a leader, both on and off the pitch, and having trained with us all this week I can already see the positive influence he will have on the players around him and the boost he will no doubt give to the fans.”

Andy Carroll has joined Reading on a short-term deal (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Head of Football Operations Mark Bowen added: “Andy is a striker with proven pedigree and so much experience in the game. It is also so important that he is a player who already knows this club and the fight we will need to show to rise to the challenges we expect to face during the course of this season.”

Carroll was announced with a video on Reading’s social media pages and, despite being a stereotypical ‘number nine’, will wear the No.2 shirt this season.