He made just eight appearances for Southampton this season – the last of which came against Liverpool in last month’s 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat – but only one of those was a Premier League start, back in August. Liverpool’s scouting department were more than familiar with the centre-back as he was a target for previous manager Brendan Rodgers. While Liverpool’s injury problems may be easing at the back up front there is no chance of a swift return to action for striker Divock Origi after he underwent a minor knee operation. The Belgium international was expected to be back in training in the next week after a hamstring injury sustained on Boxing Day against Leicester. However, the 20-year-old has had surgery to fix a long-standing issue with his knee. Press Association Sport understands the procedure was just a “clean-up” of the joint but it does mean Origi will be sidelined for another three to four weeks. With Daniel Sturridge still not ready to return from a hamstring strain sustained at Newcastle on December 6 and Danny Ings out for the season after cruciate knee ligament surgery, it leaves manager Jurgen Klopp with just one fit striker in Christian Benteke. He also has the option of playing Roberto Firmino as a “false nine” for Wednesday’s visit of Arsenal. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s desire for Premier League experience in a centre-back led him to sign QPR’s Steven Caulker on loan. He will provide cover to what has become a threadbare unit with hamstring injuries to Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren sidelined for a few weeks, with Kolo Toure (cramp) and Mamadou Sakho (knee) expected to return to face Arsenal on Wednesday. “We looked for Premier League experience because in this short time, you need that experience,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com. “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. “January is the only month where we can do something. We did it in this position [defence] and now let’s go on.” Liverpool finalised a deal before the noon deadline meaning Caulker will be available, if needed, for tomorrow’s visit of Arsenal and the defender travelled north to be able to train with his new team-mates late in the day. The German had been linked with a host of names, including Neven Subotic at former club Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan’s Andrea Ranocchia – he is interested in Schalke’s Joel Matip, but only in the summer when he is out of contract – but plumped for a defender with knowledge of the British game. Caulker, a former Tottenham centre-back who has also played for Swansea, Cardiff and QPR in the top flight, was on loan at Southampton but due to a only making a handful of appearances his deal was cancelled in order for him to move to Anfield. Press Association
The Packers were widely expected to invest heavily in pass catchers during the 2020 NFL Draft given the talent depth at the position and the need to support quarterback Aaron Rodgers.But Green Bay caught many fans by surprise with its decision to take no wide receivers with its nine picks, leading to frustration. As the non-receiver announcements continued to roll in during Day 3 of the draft Saturday, the angst boiled over on social media. It wasn’t pretty, though it was pretty funny.A selection of the tweets, which escalated as the draft progressed:MORE: Why Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love drama doesn’t compare to Favre-RodgersA RUNNING BACK?!?! pic.twitter.com/n6d3qYhfqf— Wisco Disco (@Wisco_Disco_) April 25, 2020pic.twitter.com/PyfUnqygc4— 𝚂𝚊𝚖𝚒 𝚉𝚊𝚢𝚗’𝚜 𝚋𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚊𝚕 (@samizaynpiedKO) April 25, 2020pic.twitter.com/wJjSbnvNnX— Deployed. (@PackersJohn) April 25, 2020pic.twitter.com/cmh7bd8d48— Dylan Greco (@DylanJGreco) April 25, 2020pic.twitter.com/EqUqxp2j0F— Moneybagg Yo(hannes) 🇪🇷 (@AronYohannes) April 24, 2020pic.twitter.com/jlPGmxRZV1— Joseph Matron (@JosephPMatron) April 24, 2020pic.twitter.com/Rix1Md0lkl— Moneybagg Yo(hannes) 🇪🇷 (@AronYohannes) April 25, 2020pic.twitter.com/8OBgrASi2I— RunningBlade2184 (@ralls_reese) April 25, 2020 Here’s a list of who the Packers went with:Round 1, Pick No. 26: Jordan Love, QB, Utah StateRound 2, Pick No. 62: AJ Dillon, RB, Boston CollegeRound 3, Pick No. 94: Josiah Deguara, TE, CincinnatiRound 5, Pick No. 175: Kamal Martin, ILB, MinnesotaRound 6, Pick No. 192: Jon Runyan, G, MichiganRound 6, Pick No. 208: Jake Hanson, C, OregonRound 6, Pick No. 209: Simon Stepaniak, OT, IndianaRound 7, Pick No. 236: Vernon Scott, S, TCURound 7, Pick No. 242: Jonathan Garvin, DE, MiamiMORE: Worst value picks of 2020 NFL DraftBefore the draft, Rodgers expressed hope (and some attitude) regarding the direction the Packers would take. He wanted outside help to prevent defenses from keying in only on Davante Adams.”We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years,” Rodgers told the Pat McAfee Show, “so that would be kind of cool.”Many Packers fans, loyal to their favorite signal-caller, used Twitter to tell the team how they felt about no receivers being selected.
Since becoming a free agent in 2017, Kaepernick has not received a workout from any NFL team. But if Jackson had it his way, he would have brought the QB in that year.”I wanted him,” Jackson said, via the News-Herald. “It just didn’t work out. Obviously, those things do have to work from a finance, draft, whatever all that is. And that wasn’t my decision.”MORE: Team considering Kap projected to lose ‘20% of season ticket holders’ (Getty Images) Former Browns coach Hue Jackson claims he wanted to sign Colin Kaepernick when the quarterback became a free agent in 2017.Speaking with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer on “The Really Big Show” last week, Jackson said he wanted the Browns to sign Kaepernick, but claims the final decision was out of his hands. Kaepernick started his protest in 2016 and opted out of his contract ahead of the 2017 season after the 49ers informed him they planned to cut him. Hue Jackson https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d3/c3/hue-jackson-123117-getty-ftrjpg_19s0k0vl7bxo613cf6357x7u4r.jpg?t=-1369031264&w=500&quality=80Jackson went on to say he also wanted Kaepernick back when he was a rookie, and the coach was on the Raiders.”I’ve known Colin. When I was with the Raiders, we were going to draft him when I was there,” Jackson said. “So, obviously he’d been a really good player in the league. He had tremendous success. He is a guy who has stood for something. I think everybody is seeing exactly where he was coming from. I always thought Colin deserved an opportunity in this league, but he has to want to play. If he really wanted to play, I think he would have a chance again.”Jackson’s comments are interesting when you consider what he said at the time. When asked about Kaepernick in March of 2017, Jackson said the Browns hadn’t discussed the quarterback despite his own recent claims that he wanted to sign him. “We haven’t really discussed Colin,” Jackson said in 2017. “There’s other players at this point that we’ve had a lot of conversations about to see if we can put them on our team. Not saying it won’t come up later on. You have to exhaust everything. But at this point he hasn’t come up.”He also said in August of 2017 he didn’t want to see any players on his team join the protests during the national anthem saying, “I would hope that we don’t have those issues.”As for the Browns, they obviously did not sign Kaepernick ahead of the 2017 season and famously went 0-16 that year. Cleveland played DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler in games throughout the season at quarterback instead.