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Tottenham: A look at Steven Caulker’s post-Spurs career

As Tottenham continue their search for a new centre-back, one man who fans might have thought could emerge as a potential leader of their back-line several years ago, is Steven Caulker.

Speaking back in October 2012, his former team-mate William Gallas tipped him to “make it to the very top of the game in this country”, while Brendan Rodgers – who had him during his initial loan spell at Swansea – said: “He had a fantastic season for me. He has made a massive jump in his career through playing Premier League games at Swansea.

“For me, he is a young player, who the more he can play the better he will become, and I am sure he will become a great asset for Tottenham.”

It said a lot about his impressive performances at Cardiff that just eight months after his £11m permanent move to Wales, then Spurs boss Tim Sherwood was keen on signing him for the club again.

In an interview with The Guardian back in 2017, Caulker was refreshingly honest about his issues off-the-pitch during his early years at Spurs, and how that all came to a head in a showdown meeting with Daniel Levy during a post-season trip to the Bahamas.

He revealed: “He just said: ‘The way you act is unbelievable. You either sort yourself out or go but I can assure you, if you leave, you’ll be going down, not up.’ I was young, stupid. I took it as a challenge, a chance to prove him wrong. I was so immature. So I went to Cardiff and, for six months, everything was amazing. I was captain, the manager, Malky Mackay, knew I had some issues but offered to be there for me.

“I felt wanted, so there was no gambling, no heavy binges but the second he was sacked, all the demons came back. That’s all it took. Even before we played the next game, I’d convinced myself nothing would be the same. That’s the kind of catastrophic thinking I’ve had to address.”

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A truly wasted talent...

Now plying his trade for a relegation battling Gaziantep – they are just two places above the drop zone – the Turkish Super Lig side are the 11th club for whom Caulker has played since making his first-team debut for the Lilywhites.

Aged 30, Caulker’s career may not see a return to the Premier League anymore, and that’s a real indication of how his career has gone since seemingly looking like a future Spurs stalwart.

He may not be playing in English football’s top-flight, or the cornerstone of this Spurs defence under Antonio Conte, but it is good to see Caulker seemingly back to enjoying what he does after a tough and challenging few years.

AND in other news – “Paratici will look at him”: Spurs can strike gold with “unplayable” £50k-p/w star

Article title: Tottenham: A look at Steven Caulker’s post-Spurs career

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