Newcastle linked with defender perfect for some Rafa Benitez rehabilitation
News today that Newcastle are reportedly interested in signing Steven Caulker.
The 24 year old defender has also been linked with a move north of the border to Celtic but the Daily Record say that Newcastle are in prime position, as they could/would comfortably cover Caulker’s full wages, unlike the Glasgow club.
Williamson & Taylor are already out of the door, with Coloccini set to follow them with a return to Argentina, leaving Newcastle very short at centre of defence.
It looks certain that Rafa Benitez will bring in at least one new central defender but does Steven Caulker fit the bill?
The vast majority of Newcastle fans appear more than happy with Mbemba and Lascelles but at least one new signing is needed at the very least, in terms of cover and competition.
There are two ways of looking at Steven Caulker’s situation, with the extremes being that he has either been the victim of circumstances or a young promising player who just hasn’t proved to be as good as people thought he was going to be.
Coming up through the ranks at Tottenham, Caulker appeared to then be making the perfect progression with a series of loans.
As an 18 year old he went out to League One Yeovil, at 19 to Championship Bristol City, then at 20 to Premier League Swansea (where a certain Brendan Rodgers was then Manager, now of Celtic).
Getting rave reviews at all three clubs on season long loans, Steven Caulker then appeared to be smoothly continuing his progression as he then signed a new four year contract in summer 2012 and went on to make 18 Premier League appearances for Spurs that (2012/13) season.
However, as usual Tottenham were continuing to recruit players ensuring a big squad, which meant in summer 2013 Tottenham felt comfortable to bank £8mfrom Premier League new boys Cardiff City for a player who cost nothing, with the likes of Vertonghen, Chiriches, Dawson and Kaboul battling for places at centre-half.
This is where it all began to go wrong…despite scoring a personally impressive five goals as a defender, Caulker and his team-mates struggled.
Cardiff proved to be the worst team in the Premier League but after finishing rock bottom, the centre-half’s reputation hadn’t been too diminished as promoted QPR paid £9m for him.
History repeated though, as QPR also ended up struggling badly, ending up 20th out of 20, Steven Caulker once again part of a relegated club in the summer of 2015.
QPR gambled on a quick return and loaned Caulker out to reduce the wage bill rather than sell him, only for things to not work out for either player or club.
QPR nowhere near promotion and the defender going out to Liverpool and Southampton on loan, only to find chances at a premium, with a single Premier League start all last season.
Now at the age of 24, Caulker finds his career at a standstill and QPR are a club who desperately need to offload one of their most expensive assets.
This could well be a perfect scenario whereby Rafa could take on Steven Caulker and have the centre-back share the 46 Championship matches with Mbemba and Lascelles.
A cut price transfer or loan with a view to permanent signing could both work.
In Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle, Rafa has already landed two outfield players more than capable of doing it in the Championship and potentially in the Premier League for Newcastle in the future, Steven Caulker could be a third.
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