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West Ham 20:00 Newcastle

Buffon hails Magpies starlet

By James Pearson & Nadia Carminati.   Last Updated: 31/07/07 9:28am

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Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes Newcastle United youngster Andy Carroll has a big future ahead of him.

Despite Carroll being on the end of a nasty collision with the Italy international in Sunday's friendly, Buffon was full of praise for the teenager.

Buffon believes the young striker's awareness and ability to bring other players into play will make him a real asset for Newcastle.

"Carroll played like what we call in Italy a paintbrush striker," Buffon said in the Daily Express.

"He was there to add the finishing touch. He played well on his own.

"He will be an asset because he can find the smaller players around him in different ways and has already shown he has great awareness."

Meanwhile, Buffon says his conscience is clear following Sunday's incident and that if anything, it was he who was lucky to escape serious injury.

"I'm serene. I only answer to my conscience," explained Buffon. "In the clash I could only have injured myself.

"Luckily this didn't happen. Other times I've injured a finger, suffered a head injury and damaged my shoulder too."

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