Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he had to sign Steven Caulker after recent injury problems on Merseyside, reports the club's official website.
The Reds completed the loan signing of the defender from Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season, but the transfer came as a surprise to fans as the England man had failed to establish himself at Southampton.
The club have endured a nightmare in the defensive department with the likes of Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho all failing to maintain their fitness recently.
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Klopp, then, has admitted that it was crucial for the club to sign a defender in this transfer window.
Speaking ahead of his side's Premier League showdown against Arsenal, the revered coach stated: “It was very important for us. In our situation, four weeks ago we didn’t know we’d have a problem with centre-halves because they were all in the race. At the start of the season, Joe Gomez was also in the squad, so a fifth centre-half - and then the situation changed completely.
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Klopp speaks out
“Now, we’ve had to make a decision whether we wanted to get another player for the position. The situation is Martin Skrtel is not available for around about the next four-and-a-half weeks, five weeks. Then we have the problem with Dejan – it’s only a little muscle injury. I think he’ll be available in one to one-and-a-half weeks. Then you have Mama with a little knee issue – he can play, but it’s not perfect and you cannot bring him three or four times in a row throughout the season. And it’s the same for Kolo and so would mean we are always in this situation, do we have enough or not? So we thought, ‘Yes, good idea’.
“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!”
Debut vs Arsenal?
There's a chance, then, that Caulker will make his debut for the club against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Wednesday night.
He will certainly be hoping for an improvement after his last outing. Incredibly, his last match for Southampton came in the club's 6-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
It certainly won't be easy for Caulker, who will have to deal with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.
Is Caulker a good signing for Liverpool? Have your say below!