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The Sky is the Limit for Swansea's Steven Caulker

As I`m writing this, the England national team neither has a manager nor a captain. Many of the established squad members are morally split on recent high profile incidents that have plagued this season`s Premier League campaign and it`s not looking at all good.

There are those looking in from the outside that would say the English national team is in disarray - which on the face of it is a very fair observation.

The FA need to appoint a manager as soon as possible in preparation for the up-coming European Championships and get their ship in order.

There is a vast pool of experience and young talent available for the next England manager, but the area he will be spoilt for choice in, is in an area that the England team have always managed to consistently produce is quality central defenders.

As I was growing up in the early 1980`s, Arsenal legend, Tony Adams MBE, was taking the art of defending to a whole new level using a mixture of pace, strength and a leadership quality that was virtually unheard of at such a tender age.

Adams made his debut at Highbury four-weeks after his 17th birthday and became a regular at just 19-years-old - surely too young to be a regular-starting top-tier division centre-half, right? Tony Adams went on to 504 Arsenal appearances and captained his club for 14-years after he was given the armband at just 21.

Currently, England has: Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Phil Jagielka, Jolean Lescott and Wes Brown from a current pool of experienced international central defenders. The younger crop of talent is obviously where the future lies with the likes of the raw and impressive Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

The one name that hasn`t been mentioned in the written press and amongst fans is who I feel could well be the next Tony Adams - Steven Caulker. The 20-year-old Swansea City defender (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur) has shown many similarities to the last genuine CB to captain England.

Standing at 6`3" tall, is extremely strong and quick with aerial prowess that`s comparable to the best in the league - Steven Caulker has all the hallmarks to make it to the very top of the game.

Starring in Swansea`s dominant defensive pairing with Ashley Williams, the Swans are solid as a defensive unit and are extremely comfortable on the ball. This ability to retain possession amongst the back four has rarely been utilised at England`s national team. This has mainly been the case because the experts say "English players don`t possess the technical ability." There are plenty of English players at every level of football that possess the capability to get the ball down and play it and Caulker is at the heart of it at Swansea.

Since Caulker was 16 he`s been punching far above his weight making 31 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur`s under-18 outfit and scoring 1 goal in the process. The following year, he was made captain of the under-18 team and made 5 appearances for Spurs` reserve team.

Since then, Caulker has applied his trade out on loan to Yeovil and Bristol City. He was subsequently voted Bristol City`s young player of the year at the end of the 2010-2011 season and earned international recognition winning England under-19 and under-21 caps.

Swansea City won the race for his signature on a season-long loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur for the start of the 2011-2012 Premier League campaign.

In pre-season training with the Swans he looked every bit the quality of a Premier League player, his physical attributes at just 19-years old in addition to his composure on the ball and abundance of pace shone through the early sessions - he is the real deal.

Caulker has made 13 appearances so far this season for the high flying Jacks, and would of made more if it wasn`t for his unfortunate injury against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Swansea City missed out on the signing of Ryan Bennett in the January transfer window, who was the player that the Swans manager Brendan Rodgers had highlighted as Caulkers replacement when his loan deal ends and returns to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season.

Steven Caulker is valued at around 7 million, and whilst Norwich City captured the signature of Ryan Bennett for 5.5 million, I would suggest the number one summer transfer target for Swansea City is Steven Caulker and with it, smashing their transfer record on a player that has experience in the philosophy of the football club and the Premier League.

Caulker is the best of an exceptional group of young English players and through the guidance and coaching of Brendan Rodgers, he will only get better.

Just as Tony Adams was in 1987, "If you`re good enough, you`re old enough."



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The Journalist

Writer: Danny Cosker  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 13 2012

Time: 1:44PM

Your Comments

Glad to see he is playing well for you guys. Theres no way we will sell our brightest prospect im afraid. He will be in and around our first team next season. Also hope you guys stay in the epl for some time your playing the second best football in the country ;)
spurspanther
You say that, but he's far from happy at Spurs signing another centre half in the January transfer window. He'll be available, I feel, especially if Redknapp goes. Youth rarely gets a chance with new managers.
DannyCosker
Spurs have NOT signed another centre half (not for next season anyway). Nelsen is here until the end of the season, and is then apparently off to the USA. This was on another forum

"just spoke to his blackburn teammates (for those of you who dont know i partied when the blackburn and villa guys this summer when they came to hong kong and became good friends with a few of the guys) and was told that he is just here to provide cover in case king / daws / gallas get injured. he will be moving to DC united after this season (which is pretty much already agreed upon his signing). just thought id let u guys know that he is here as a backup until we get a new CB this summer."......

Caulker has repeatedly stated that he is more than happy to wait for his chance to come, at THFC. But if he can't be guaranteed 20 games next season, he'd prefer to go back on loan to you guys. The boy is a Yiddo, end of!!
coopsieyid
Nelson, Gallass and Bassong wont be here. Sorry there is no way you will sign him permanently. You could have him on loan for another season but i doubt that will happen either. If it was my id have him next to Kaboul next season
spurspanther
As would I Spurspanther
coopsieyid
He's good enough to be starting in any team in the Premier League. He has a better chance at starting with Spurs if Harry remains as manager.
DannyCosker
With how things are at the moment, we should get into CL football next season. With so many games league + cup, I am sure Caulker will get his share of games, if not more. Swansea are playing great football at the moment, its the best place for a defender lie him to learn. With Ledley King on last phase of his career, I look forward to Caulker to take up the mantle.
sydqcb5
 

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