Having been relegated from the Premier League in succession with Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers, the possibility of Steven Caulker suffering the same fate looks close to impossible after sealing a season-long loan with Southampton.
“There is a much more positive vibe this year, everyone is feeling confident ahead of the season and we are looking to do good things”.
Caulker, who has already represented England at senior level, as well as Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, was excited to join the ‘ambitious” club and to play for a “great’ manager in Ronald Koeman.
Caulker will be Koeman’s next project and, after being unveiled as Southampton’s sixth summer signing, the centre-back admitted he need to “prove himself”.
The 23 year old joined up with the squad earlier today for the first time and he’s been handed the No 26 shirt for the coming year.
Caulker, who has age and height on his side, will now be in the frame to compete with Maya Yoshida to partner captain Jose Fonte in the defence. “It is a great opportunity for the player and he will show that”.
Southampton were in the market for a central defender after losing out to Tottenham in the race to sign Toby Alderweireld, who spent last season on loan at St Mary’s from Atletico Madrid.
“I am very pleased”, the Saints manager said.
“That is one of the reasons why I have a full and strong squad with balance in the team to manage both competitions”.
“It depends on what the player brings”, he said. It’s very important we have this kind of player in the club.
“We are not in a hurry because we like to have the players in the team and sometimes you need more time for that”. “I’ve learnt a lot from it and I try to take the positives”.