Steven Caulker has admitted he thought Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was joking when he asked him to play up front late on in the match against Arsenal earlier this week.
The QPR defender, on loan at Anfield for the rest of the season, was thrown into the mix to make his debut for the Reds playing as a striker instead of in the heart of the defence.
As Klopp sought a goal in the last 10 minutes he utilised Caulker’s 6ft 3in frame in the final third. Whilst the ex-Spurs man didn’t have a direct hand in Joe Allen’s equalising strike, his presence was certainly felt.
As it turns out, the player himself is just as shocked as fans were that he made his Anfield bow practically leading Liverpool’s line. Caulker, as per the Liverpool Echo, said he initially thought his new manager was having him on.
"I was shocked, I thought the gaffer was joking when he said it (go up front)," Caulker said.
"With only four or five minutes to go we had to go for it and it paid off. It was an exciting five or six minutes.
"I was delighted to get on the pitch and help rescue a point.
"It has been a bit of a roller-coaster but the adrenaline dragged me through."
Caulker the posted a picture to Instagram seeing the funny side of the situation - it can be assumed from now on he’ll now be given the opportunity to impress Klopp in his natural defensive position.
Important few months
Once heralded as the next big thing in English defending, Caulker’s career has stalled of late due to frustrating spells at both QPR and Southampton.
Given the injury problems currently crippling Liverpool’s squad his chance to prove he still belongs at the top is nigh. Getting on the pitch is the most important goal for Caulker; the next few months will be crucial for his career, striker or no.
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