There are some truly tragic tales in football and Steven Caulker is one of them.
Signed by none other than Jurgen Klopp early into the German’s very own Anfield tale, Steven Caulker was intended to alleviate the huge voids left in Liverpool’s defence by either injury or general lack of quality. However – rather bizarrely – not once did the former Team GB defender actually play in his natural position in the Premier League.
Quite the opposite, in fact. On the rare occasion that Caulker was chucked onto the pitch, which was very rare, believe us, it was typically as a makeshift forward – designed to throw his hefty 6 ft 3in frame around and cause havoc. Certainly not the style of tact we would associate with Klopp nowadays and the pure, attacking football he demands of his players.
“I was shocked, I thought the gaffer was joking when he said it (go up front),” Caulker told Press Association Sport (via Independent). No banter intended we’re afraid, Steven, you obviously couldn’t be trusted in defence.
Blimey. Just thinking about it now, what an insult that is to a players ability, to only ever play them up front. Not even a remotely defensive position.
After returning to Queens Park Rangers for a year, Caulker briefly spent time as a free agent before leaving England to move north to Dundee in the summer of 2018. Not exactly Liverpool and Anfield, or even QPR for that matter.
Less than half a season with the club, he triggered a clause in his contract and was a free agent once more.
Once one of the brightest talents in English football just waiting for a breakthrough that never came, the Englishman was apparently set to go on trial at Ukrainian side Arsenal Kiev in September 2018, a team who had lost six of their first eight matches.
By January 2019, Caulker had signed for Turkish Super Lig side Alanyaspor, which is where he will remain until next month – unless the club decide to extend his contract.
At just 27-years-old, the former prodigy is looking dangerously close to becoming one of football’s saddest stories of decline.
Liverpool fans, what are your standout memories of Steven Caulker? Let us know in the comments below…