Over the last few months, Moises Caicedo has become one of the hottest properties in Premier League football. Rumoured to be earning just £10,000 a week, a fraction of the wages the Brighton centre midfielder should be on, the Ecuador international demonstrated this season as well as at the recent World Cup that despite just being 21 years old, he has the maturity to develop into one of the league’s best. But is the time right for him to leave the South Coast?
There have been a number of suitors interested in Caicedo’s signature and rightfully so. He has helped transform Brighton’s midfield into genuine contenders for European football, even with Graham Potter leaving the Seagulls to join Chelsea.
A wonderful technician, the Ecuadorian can receive the ball in tight spaces making him press-resistant, and that sometimes goes under the radar due to his work rate. Much like the way his team have gone under the radar in the football betting odds, having beaten Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool throughout the campaign.
With Enock Mwepu forced into early retirement due to a heart condition, Caicedo has filled the void with his availability and versatility, playing as a number six in front of the defence as well as his more traditional box-to-box role, earning plaudits from new boss Roberto De Zerbi, who admitted keeping both Caicedo and World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister at the club will be a challenging task.
“I would like to keep all our players here, and I would like to add some too,” he said. “My hope is that Caicedo and Mac Allister will stay with us. It will be very difficult.”
Given how teams that tend to overachieve in the Premier League have their sides picked apart it seems inevitable someone will try and swoop in for Caicedo. While he is loved at the AMEX Stadium and has plenty of time to develop at the Seagulls, there are teams in desperate need of fresh faces, also factoring in Brighton’s shrewd negotiation skills and recruitment, it’s a deal that we could see happening in the summer.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea are reportedly expressing interest in the 21-year-old. Jurgen Klopp’s side are in need of a real facelift as far as the middle of the park is concerned. Captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain James Milner are certainly past the peak of their powers, whilst Thiago and Fabinho enter their 30s struggling to rediscover the form that got the Reds to the cusp of a quadruple last season.
However, a reunion with former manager Potter at Chelsea could be too much for Caicedo to resist. He could be a long-term successor for N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge, but joining an already stacked midfield alongside Jorginho, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic means he won’t necessarily be guaranteed regular game time.
With Liverpool strapped for cash and Chelsea likely to wait until the end of Denis Zakaria’s loan before sending him back to Juventus, expect a legitimate move for Caicedo to be put on hold until the summer. By then, the rest of Europe might have cottoned on to the Ecuadorian’s potential, and no doubt he will have strung together a few more special performances between now and the end of the season, only increasing his stock.