Southampton sign QPR defender Caulker on season-long loan

BY foxsports • July 29, 2015

Southampton have confirmed the loan signing of QPR defender Steven Caulker.

The 23-year-old centre-back will spend the 2015-16 campaign at St Mary's, though Press Association Sport understands the deal is not with a view to a permanent move.

Saints have moved for Caulker, who has one England cap to his name, to fill the defensive void left by Toby Alderweireld's move to Tottenham and a serious knee injury sustained by Florin Gardos.

The defender only joined Rangers last season from Cardiff and made 35 appearances as the London club suffered relegation to the Sky Bet Championship.

However, he is excited to be joining a side who challenged at the right end of the table last term.

He told the club's official website: "I'm very pleased and very excited. This club has done fantastically well, especially over the last two years.

"To now join this club and to be a part of it for this year is something I've proud of.

"As soon as I got the phone call to say a fee was agreed with Southampton, I was delighted to get the opportunity to come and play under a great manager.

"This club is an ambitious one, so to be part of this is a great opportunity - it's a chance for me to prove myself. I'm very excited for the season ahead."

Saints manager Ronald Koeman has spoken of his wish to acquire at least one more centre-back, as well as add some extra height in defence - a role it appears Caulker will now help fill.

And his move to the south coast, which comes with a "substantial undisclosed loan fee", ends a long chase.

Executive director of football Les Reed added: "We have tracked Steven for a number of years, and so we are very happy to have finally brought him to the club.

"Although still young, he has played several seasons in the top flight, as well as representing England at senior level and featuring for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.

"Steven will offer us an excellent defensive option - especially with Florin Gardos ruled out after his knee operation.

"He is a player with a good blend of both experience and potential who is determined to grow, to develop and to prove himself during his time with the club."

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