Things are never straightforward for Steven Caulker, and that trend has continued this summer with the former Liverpool loanee joining two clubs in just over two months.
Caulker’s time at Anfield was brief, but he remains one of the most memorable loan signings in recent history due to his unique role under Jurgen Klopp.
A sole start came against West Ham in the FA Cup, this time in his natural position, before departing at the end of the season and returning to QPR, with his return to London aiding his recovery from addiction.
Six months with Dundee would follow, before reigniting his career with a surprise move to Turkish club Alanyaspor – though soon after joining he was injured in a minibus crash that saw team-mate Josef Sural killed.
Caulker played 85 times for Alanyaspor, scoring six goals, assisting another nine and wearing the captain’s armband on occasion, which is comfortably the most he has ever played for a club.
But the opportunity to join Fenerbahce – who finished third in the Turkish Super Lig last season, earning a place in the Europa League – this summer was impossible to turn down.
Now, though, just over two months on from his arrival in Istanbul on June 30, Caulker has been loaned to Gaziantep, the side who ended the previous campaign two places below Alanyaspor in the table.
— Gaziantep FK (@GaziantepFK) September 8, 2021
His surprise second switch comes following the appointment of Vitor Pereira as Fenerbahce manager, which came two days after Caulker’s arrival.
Pereira did not consider Caulker in his plans, and Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet reported last month that both player and club were exploring their options, with a return to Alanyaspor failing due to compensation issues.
Now, the 29-year-old is left to settle at a temporary home a nine-hour drive from Alanya, where he had lived for two years, with more uncertainty surrounding his long-term future.
Gaziantep will no doubt consider themselves to have sealed a transfer coup in his signing, however, having brought in one of the Super Lig’s standout centre-backs on a low-cost loan.