Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp made his first proper signing – we won’t count Marko Grujic since he is away on loan to Red Star Belgrade- with Steven Caulker coming on loan to the Merseyside team. Klopp had been bereft of fit central defenders and needed experience cover and fast.
Caulker had spent the first half of the season on loan at Southampton and his last game came against Liverpool in the 6-1 demolition job by the Reds. Caulker’s CV doesn’t really speak a lot, he was one of the talented players when he started off at Spurs but lost his way with moves to Cardiff and QPR.
While that would not be a proper judgement of what he can provide to a Liverpool team that has struggled to defend since the days of Brendan Rodgers, Caulker could become an important cog for Liverpool, if he does well.
He does have over 200 league appearances for a spate of teams and that would come in handy for Liverpool and Klopp. Caulker also has international experience having appeared for the England side in a friendly but that came in 2012 though the defender did get on the score sheet for the national side.
Where does he fit in?
Liverpool in the future, whenever that is, would have close to five fit centre backs. Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and the recalled Tiago Ilori are already at the club and Caulker would only add to the list.
The fact that Caulker could easily get into the team due to the injuries to the likes of Skrtel and Lovren bode well for him, he will get a lot of game time, especially with Liverpool still in the FA Cup, League Cup and the Europa League.
Caulker was always good in the air but he has become prone to mistakes, hence his slide down to the Championship with QPR. This however is a chance for him to resurrect his career. It isn’t every day that a club like Liverpool need to sign someone and they are willing to slot you into the first team, even though you aren’t world class, no offence meant.
Klopp is still learning about his squad and that would mean Caulker is at the same level as Ilori, Kolo and even Sakho as they haven’t featured in as many games as Klopp would have liked. Caulker would not be the first choice for Liverpool had Lovren and Skrtel been fit – purely because of the fact that Lovren has been exceptional for Liverpool under Klopp, but Caulker now has a chance to impress the German.
Who knows, a good showing against United this weekend could well make him first choice at Liverpool and he could become a permanent player come the end of the season. This is a great chance for Caulker to show off his skills and he shouldn’t let this go to waste.