Klopp: Caulker’s Premier League experience vital

Date published: Tuesday 12th January 2016 5:36

Jurgen Klopp: Would enjoy chance to play Everton in final

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that the Premier League experience of Steven Caulker was the reason behind him bringing the defender to Anfield on loan.

The Reds’s injury crisis has seen them linked with a host of names, including Neven Subotic at former club Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan’s Andrea Ranocchia.

Klopp has also shown interest in Schalke’s Joel Matip, whose contract runs out in the summer. But the German boss opted for a player with top-flight experience.

Caulker, began his career at Tottenham and has also played for Swansea, Cardiff and QPR in the top flight.

The 24-year-old was on loan at Southampton but having only made a handful of appearances, his deal was cancelled in order for him to move to Anfield.

He will provide defensive cover to what has become a threadbare unit due to hamstring injuries to Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren.

Kolo Toure (cramp) and Mamadou Sakho (knee) are however expected to return to face Arsenal on Wednesday.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Klopp said: “We looked for Premier League experience because in this short time, you need that experience.

“We looked for a good header [of the ball] because that’s what we need – we want to play good pressing, we want to press the opponent and so they have to play long balls.

“If they play long balls, you need people in the last line who can help you with headers and we’ve found it with Steven Caulker.

“He was not in the best situation in Southampton, didn’t play too much, but this is January and we want to have the best solution for us and we are absolutely convinced that Steven is the best solution for us.

“I am looking forward to working with him. He will be here today and then we can start working, so everything is good.

“January is the only month where we can do something. We did it in this position [defence] and now let’s go on.”

Liverpool finalised a deal before the noon deadline meaning Caulker will be available, if needed, for tomorrow’s visit of Arsenal and the defender travelled north to be able to train with his new team-mates late in the day.

He made just eight appearances for Southampton this season – the last of which came against Liverpool in last month’s 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat – but only one of those was a Premier League start, back in August.

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