Exeter City manager Gary Caldwell has praised the “outstanding” quality of trialist Tom Carroll when speaking to the Club’s official YouTube channel.
Carroll appeared for the Grecians for half an hour in a 0-0 draw at Bath City, before featuring for a further 45 minutes in a 3-0 win over Taunton on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old made 94 appearances in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur and later Swansea City but has spent nearly 18 months out of the game through injury.
His most recent spell was in League One with Ipswich Town, becoming the Club’s sixteenth signing in the summer of 2021, playing just 17 times in all competitions before being released at the end of his one-year deal.
Carroll is no stranger to England’s third tier, as the Watford-born midfielder made his professional debut for Leyton Orient at this level over 12 years ago, after progressing through the Lilywhites’ academy.
The former England U21 international has regularly trained at Spurs’ Hotspur Way training complex to maintain his fitness, and revealed in an interview with Wales Online that he had been training at a Championship club, but hopes for a contract didn’t materialise.
Much of his career has been hampered by injury, including a troubled loan spell at Aston Villa in January 2019, where he got just 35 minutes of action at Villa Park before suffering a hip injury, having already spent three months out before the move.
Caldwell has liked what he has seen from the ex-Spurs man, although a decision has not been made on whether the midfielder will become a permanent fixture at St James Park.
What’s been said?
“Tom was outstanding,” Caldwell said after the victory on Tuesday.
“His quality and understanding of the role was great, he takes information on and puts it onto the pitch, and the overall awareness and the way he controls the game is really good to see.
“We will see how he is this week. He has come in for a few days, we will keep speaking to him, but he showed his quality, and we are delighted with him so far.”
There is no doubting Carroll’s quality, as without the persistent injuries, he’d still be playing at a much higher level at this stage of his career.
The deal will have to make sense for both parties. Exeter will not want to take the financial risk on a player who will make limited appearances, but Carroll may be willing to curb his wage demands after a long spell out of the game.
He is best suited to teams that play a ‘passing’ brand of football as he likes to get on the ball and dictate the tempo, with that style of football being the key reason why he initially joined Swansea.