I wrote this about Caulker in an article covering off player expectations for the new season. Not insightful in any deeply philosophical way, simply stating the obvious. The player needs game time.
Cracking season at Swansea the season before last. The ground sort of swallowed him up a little when he returned to us. That's not to say he hasn't got talent but he's not at the required level. Yet. Has to be used in rotation. If he's good enough to break into the side he will. Again, it's about matching him up with the right player when he does start for us. Remember when Dawson lined up against King back 'in the day'? Daws was brilliant, oozing confidence. But then you would if you had Ledley owning it by the side of you. Of course, you could be smart about this and say that Caulker should be able to adapt no matter his centre-back pairing. I still believe stability and a helping hand is required.
We don't know what trigged his transfer to Cardiff - club decision or player seeking a move. The £8.5M/£9M or so that we've been offered probably the most relevant reason for this happening. He's a young, raw player that hasn't quite proven to be worth this rather hefty price tag. Caulker yet to shine with consistency as a first team footballer. The fee is one that embraces potential rather than proven productivity.
He'll get first team football at Cardiff (much like he did at Swansea) and it might be that Caulker doesn't wish to spend his time as a backup at Spurs, preferring to play every week so that his development progresses and he retains maximum exposure for England selection.
Kaboul. Vertonghen. Dawson. Chiriches (tbc). That's a fair few centre-backs to be up against at any given time. We must be confident on Kaboul's fitness also.
If the decision was by Spurs to accept the transfer, then AVB and the coaching staff might believe the bid is too good to reject and a safer bet than retaining his services with fragmented playing time. The club obviously feeling we have adequate cover.
Caulker might not be as good as we would wish any given home grown player should be. Biggest question is - what message does this send to other academy players?
Yes, he wasn't overly impressive last season (as I explained above). Concentration, composure wasn't great - but then, he's young, learning his craft. Good at set piece action, can head the ball. Oh well. I can only shrug and wait for time to tell us if this is something we're going to regret.
I'd love to have kept him. Probably for the wrong reasons (the hope he will be the new Ledley King). It would appear there's no room for sentiments.
Good luck lad.