Premier League experience prompted Steven Caulker’s Liverpool move

first_img 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 Associationlast_img read more

Matthew’s brilliant century hands Barbados eight-wicket win over Jamaica

first_imgBy Michelangelo JacobusDefending champions Barbados took on Jamaica in a top-of-the-table clash as the Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 continued at the GCC ground, Bourda.Jamaica won the toss and elected to bat, but were stifled by the Barbados bowling attack and could only muster 214-6 which Barbados chased down in 35.3 overs .Haley Matthews led with a brilliant century while Kycia Knight once again played a supporting role with an unbeaten half-century to hand Barbados victory by eight wickets.The win means Barbados have now cemented their status as favourites to retain the trophy.Jamaica took first strike and found scoring tough as Barbados tightened the screws with some quality bowling. However, Jamaica’s in-form skipper, Stafanie Taylor, once again led from the front. Fresh off a match-winning century against host nation Guyana in their last match, she once again showed her quality, composing a patient 80 (117 deliveries) which included four boundaries, to lead her side to a par total of 214-6.At one point, the Jamaicans looked set for a big score at 120-2 with Taylor and her deputy, Chedean Nation, at the crease, but the Bajan bowlers were tight in their line and length with Hayley Matthews turning in a good spell to eventually restrict the Jamaicans to just 214.Three of Barbados’ bowlers shared the wickets evenly with Hayley Matthews taking 2-36 from her 10 overs while Shenika Bruce and Shamilia Connell had figures of 2-32 (6 overs) and 2-34 (9 overs respectively).Chasing 215 for victory, Matthews began the innings by slapping the first ball through the offside for four before adding another with a crunching drive.She was especially severe on Karla Cohen, carrying her for a six and two fours in the third over as Barbados raced away.Barbados brought up their 50 in the eighth over and by then the game looked to have gotten away from Jamaica.Matthews offered a chance when she was on 68, chipping Stafanie Taylor to mid-off who was unable to hold on to a brilliant effort.Meanwhile Kycia Knight was her able supporter with a solid half century and by the time Matthews fell, bowled by Nation for a well played 108 (101 balls, 14x4s, 2x6s), victory was well in sight.Enter Deandra Dottin who knocked off the remaining runs to end the innings unbeaten on 23 off 13 deliveries with two fours and two sixes.Barbados will next face Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.last_img read more