Southampton completed their pre-season programme with a match against Spanish side Espanyol on Sunday and recent loan signing Steven Caulker was given his debut.
The 23-year-old arrived at St Mary’s last week on a season-long loan move from Queens Park Rangers, and his first task will be to get into the regular starting XI before potentially having a similar impact to Toby Alderweireld.
Caulker’s last two seasons in the Premier League have not gone according to plan, with the centre-back experiencing back-to-back relegations with Cardiff City and QPR, but Ronald Koeman’s side are far better equipped and the defender is highly unlikely to make it an unwanted hat-trick.
Instead Southampton will be targeting the opposite end of the table and their summer signings suggest that will again be a realistic target.
Southampton’s returning striker Jay Rodriguez scored in a 1-1 draw but many eyes were on Caulker as he made his first tentative steps as a Saints player.
After the match we took to Twitter to see what Southampton fans thought of Caulker’s performance and you can read a selection of what we found below:
@europasaintsfc I think caulker will come good with fitness. And j-rod is better coming from the left, not central..— Saint francis (@frannybiddz1) August 2, 2015
Decent game yesterday, I think Mané was too energetic for his own liking, Jay Rod was fantastic and Caulker had a fairly decent debut.— S. (@Tadicology) August 3, 2015
@GlasgowSaint yes mate. Pretty dull game, but great goal by Jay, and a few promising performances like Caulker— Patrick Dearden (@Deardenpad) August 2, 2015
Caulker actually looks really decent— ~Jeremiah~ (@Jemscully) August 2, 2015
Caulker looked decent today, taller then I remember immense in air. Bit of timber to lose before he becomes 1st 11 I suspect #saintsfc— Mike Judges (@MikeJudges1) August 2, 2015
Caulker was a lot better in RCB than LCB looked a bit lost in the first half.— Jamie Marsh (@jamie17saints) August 2, 2015