Liam Foster - June 29, 2023
Over the last several seasons, It has become abundantly evident the value of a top-notch defensive midfielder in propelling a club to the next level.
Whether it’s Rodri at Manchester City, Joshua Kimmich at Bayern Munich, Casemiro at Manchester United, Aurelien Tchouameni at Real Madrid, or Bruno Guimaraes at Newcastle United, these are just a handful of the players that help their teams succeed.
It’s also clear to observe the influence defensive midfielders like Declan Rice have for West Ham United and Enzo Fernandez have for Chelsea.
Finding a proper defensive midfielder is a rare occurrence in football, and finding one might define decades, as Roy Keane did for Manchester United, Patrick Vieira did for Arsenal, and Sergio Busquets did for Barcelona.
One of the names with considerable potential is Moisés Caicedo. Even at the young age of 21, he already appears to be a player who is extremely mature and collected for his position. He has also proven his ability to operate at a high level in a variety of roles.
And, with the player’s possible exit seeming inevitable, a number of teams have inquired about him. Brighton, on the other hand, are requesting a high transfer fee for the teenager, whom they feel is as good as Rice, and would demand something like what West Ham is asking for their player.
Even so, a lot of teams are prepared to spend this much money on a player they expect to manage their midfield for the next 10 to 12 years.
The club most closely linked with the player is West London’s Chelsea, who also had their initial bid for Caicedo rejected by Brighton. The Blues believe that Enzo Fernandez, their record signing, would be better served playing farther forward if he could play with a genuine defensive midfielder.
Chelsea could also guarantee Caicedo a lot of playing time with the exits of N’Golo Kanté and Denis Zakaria and the expected departures of Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Mason Mount.
Given the allure of living in London, playing under a manager who employs an exciting brand of football, and being a member of the team’s new core, a move to West London for Moisés Caicedo seems quite sensible.
Arsenal’s primary weakness last season was a lack of depth in the squad and a decline in quality when regular players were out. With the futures of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Jorginho all in doubt, it is widely speculated that Arsenal are seeking for a midfielder or two.
While Declan Rice continues to be the Gunners’ first priority when it comes to midfielders, other names like Roméo Lavia and Moisés Caicedo have also been suggested. A deal for the Ecuadorian midfielder may be in the works given that Arsenal was also interested in him in January and even had a club-record offer rejected.
With Mikel Arteta reportedly being a fan of the 21 year old midfielder. A move to North London would be a prudent option, with the prospect of competing for trophies, playing in the Champions League, and developing a partnership with Declan Rice that might define generations.
Manchester United, along with Brighton, were the first few teams to scout the gifted midfielder from Independiente del Valle. United backed out of the agreement, leaving Brighton to come in and pay only £4.5 million to bring the youngster to England.
However, it appears that the Red Devils are also keeping an eye on the position of the Ecuadorian midfielder, particularly in light of the return of Marcel Sabitzer to Bayern Munich and the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Scott McTominay, Fred, and Donny van de Beek.
Moving to Manchester United would be appealing since both Christian Eriksen and Casemiro are approaching their 32nd birthdays and are not getting any younger. The club would also provide him the chance to compete for the highest prizes and participate in the Champions League, as well as learn from and eventually replace Casemiro.
A sensible signing for Barcelona would be to replace departing captain Sergio Busquets. With Franck Kessié’s uncertain future and Frenkie de Jong being pushed more forward, a move for such a player would make a lot of sense given the type of midfielder they need behind Pedri, Gavi, and Frenkie de Jong. However, given Barcelona’s financial woes and other objectives, any move would be difficult.
However, if a transfer to Barcelona materialises, a trophy haul as well as playing with some of the league’s top players are almost certain.
Last season, the Brighton player made over 100 Premier League tackles, averaging 2.7 tackles per match, with a tackle success rate of 78.1 percent, the third best in Europe’s top five leagues. Caicedo also finished second in the Premier League in interceptions averaging 1.5 interceptions per game last season.
Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club Manager) has stated that the player is anticipated to leave Brighton, and if he does, his next team will be acquiring one of the game’s top young midfielders.