Jürgen Klopp has outlined why Liverpool swooped to seal a loan deal for Steven Caulker until the end of the season today.
The centre-back completed a temporary move to the Reds from Queens Park Rangers to bolster the defensive ranks.
Klopp believes the acquisition of Caulker, who has also represented Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, Cardiff City and Southampton in the Barclays Premier League, was an important one to provide cover following the injuries sustained by Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure in recent weeks.
The manager told Liverpoolfc.com: “It was very important for us. In our situation, four weeks ago we didn’t know we’d have a problem with centre-halves because they were all in the race. At the start of the season, Joe Gomez was also in the squad, so a fifth centre-half - and then the situation changed completely.
“Now, we’ve had to make a decision whether we wanted to get another player for the position. The situation is Martin Skrtel is not available for around about the next four-and-a-half weeks, five weeks. Then we have the problem with Dejan – it’s only a little muscle injury. I think he’ll be available in one to one-and-a-half weeks. Then you have Mama with a little knee issue – he can play, but it’s not perfect and you cannot bring him three or four times in a row throughout the season. And it’s the same for Kolo and so would mean we are always in this situation, do we have enough or not? So we thought, ‘Yes, good idea’.
“We looked for Premier League experience because in this short time, you need that experience. 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!”
With Liverpool set to play at least five more fixtures before the conclusion of January alone, Klopp acknowledged the schedule meant it was essential Liverpool drafted in some defensive reinforcement.
He added: “I don’t want to talk too much about the schedule because I think I’ve spoken too much about it in the last few days, but my problem is most of the time I say the truth!
“The schedule is like it is. We have these two games [this week] and then hopefully we have a lot, a lot more games.
“We know all about our games in the league, but we don’t know how many games we will have in the different cups. This is the situation and we have to be prepared for this.
“January is the only month where we can do something. We did it in this position [defence] and now let’s go on.”