STEVEN CAULKER has joined the FOURTEENTH club of his career after linking up with ex-Liverpool team-mate Kolo Toure at Wigan.
The 31-year-old, who also featured for the likes of Swansea, Cardiff, QPR and Southampton, left the UK in 2019 to join Alanyaspor.
Following two full seasons with the top-flight club, that saw them finish fifth and seventh in the Turkish Super Lig, while they also reached the Turkish Cup final, Caulker joined Fenerbahce on a two-year deal.
at that point in his career Caulker was loving life on the continent after recovering from alcohol and gambling addictions.
But the defender never played played a single game for the club.
A change in management just days after his arrival saw Caulker left out in the cold as he was sent out on loan to Gaziantep.
When he returned to Fenerbahce at the end of last season, he was released despite having another year left on his contract.
Caulker, who has one England cap but is now Sierra Leone captain, has now returned home to play for the FOURTEENTH club of his career, joining Wigan, who are managed by his former Liverpool team-mate, Toure.
On the move, Caulker said: “After making the decision to come back from Turkey a couple of weeks ago, the gaffer reached out to me.
“He is an ex-team-mate of mine many years ago, and he spoke about the opportunity and the project he’s got going here.
Most read in Football
“He spoke about the challenge that we face, and he wanted me to be a part of it.
“For me, he’s a great guy and one of the best guys I’ve met in football.
“The manager played a key part in myself coming here.
“I’m an experienced player and I’ve had 14-15 seasons under my belt, and for me, the most important thing is mutual respect with the manager.
“Kolo has shown that, and I want to repay that faith by performing on the pitch.
“I feel this challenge at this time in my career is the right step for me.
“I’m excited to be back home and to be in the Championship again.
“There are lots of things (I want) to prove and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Caulker is hoping to make an instant impact at Wigan, who are currently sat rock bottom of the Championship.
His first game could be this Saturday, when the Latics take on Caulker’s former club, Cardiff.
Caulker added: “We face Cardiff on Saturday, who are an old team of mine.
“I know they are in a similar position to us, fighting for points.
“It is such a tight league table where there are just three points between us and safety, and we will be working hard every day in training to keep us in the Championship and aim even higher for the weeks and months to come.
“It’s just a pleasure to be here. I have had such a warm welcome today, and I’m excited to get started.”