Arsenal are keen to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo before the end of the transfer window – and the player is keen to leave the club tonight.
Athletic See the reasoning behind the move for the midfielder, what Brighton’s decision is and how exactly the Ecuadorian would benefit the league leaders on the pitch.
What do you think about the arrival of Caicedo?
In technical director Colney Edu’s London office is a whiteboard with an icon illustrating the depth of Arsenal’s first-team squad. It’s directly against the Brazilian’s desk – he admitted that he spends hours thinking about the possibilities and their exchanges.
By the start of the January transfer window, Edu had identified three obvious gaps in that diagram: midfield, wide middle, and left-back centre.
If Arsenal’s efforts to sign Caicedo before Tuesday’s deadline are successful, they will have all three areas of concern (followed by wingers Leandro Trossard and centre-back Jakub Kiwior). It’s fair to say that back in December, we didn’t think this would happen on the Arsenal staff either.
The squad-building process is a long one and at the beginning of the month there was an expectation that the midfield position would be targeted in the summer. They were hoping Arsenal might be in that position or waiting to make a big splash in the Mykhailo Mudryk deal. It is felt that Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga will provide sufficient depth to the midfield base.
As the window progresses, that location changes. Mudryk’s decision to join Chelsea has saved him a lot of money. Arsenal are moving quickly to sign Trossard, but their biggest price for the Belgium international will be just £27million ($33.4m) — some £60million cheaper than the £87million Mudryk could eventually cost.
At the same time, in the build-up to the Tottenham game, Elneny picked up an injury that kept him out of the season. In some it was reminiscent of the last days of the summer window, when an injury prompted the Egyptian Arsenal to make a deadline day attempt to sign Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa.
Mikel Arteta has admitted concerns about the extent of Elneny’s injury. “He had some problems with his knee that we will assess in time and we will have to see how it develops in the next couple of days,” he said this week. “There are concerns, especially because Mo is a player who never complains about anything.”
And in the FA Cup match against Manchester City this evening, Partey was withdrawn at half-time due to a rib injury. “We don’t want to take any risks,” Arteta said after the game. “He could not continue.”
The unexpected preparation of funds, and the equally unexpected need for Elneny (and now potentially Partey), seem to have moved the arsenal to accelerate their plans to develop a new midfielder. Arsenal have a long-term interest in Declan Rice, but West Ham are unlikely to let their manager leave in January.
Arteta and Armamentario believed that they needed someone already – and Caicedo quickly ascended to the top of the board. They believe that the 21-year-old has the capacity to complement Partey, and is his potential heir. At a time when Arteta’s faith in Lokonga appears to be waning, the Equator international wanted to add quality and depth to Arsenal’s midfield options. Coming with significant Premier League experience is also a key factor in Arsenal’s case.
This, however, will not be elaborately carried out, certainly not so artificially as the treatise on Trossardo. At that stage, the player fell out with the coach and Brighton were content to sell.
Their attitude differs from that of Caicedo. They let the 60 million offer out of hand, and they contend that the player is not for sale in this window. Their intention is confirmed by the fact that Caicedo gave an interview with Brighton on the 24th of January in which he stated that he was “focusing on Brighton”.
The weaponry was seen to prove the point – and how a player goes back to a rejected bid could have an impact on any trades.
It is ambitious from the point of view of Arsenal in every move: a difficult transfer to pull off, but one that solidifies the squad. Whether it be done or not, you cannot question the intention: it is going to the shipyards.
What do we know about Brighton’s substance?
Brighton’s position on Caicedo was revealed during the January transfer window.
Chelsea’s bids (£55million) and Arsenal’s (£60million) fell below the valuation of players they have no interest in selling in mid-season, especially as they mount a serious challenge to qualify for Europe for the first time in the club’s history.
Caicedo has been an integral part of their progress both under former head coach Graham Potter and now Roberto De Zerbi last year.
It feels as if the midfielder has been on stage much longer than her, such was the balance and continuity of the impact. In fact, last year, he did not kick the ball for Brighton.
He was given time to settle in his first six months at the club, watching games from the bench, signing for Independiente del Valle in his homeland for around £4million at the end of January 2021 in the transfer window.
Beerschot Beerschot was recalled on loan from Belgium in the first half of the 2021-22 campaign, Caicedo made his debut in the 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Tottenham last February and took to the Premier League like a duck to water. the time when
Internally, he was designated as the successor to Yvon Bissouma, who scored goals for Brighton that day in north London. Since his arrival, he has proven to be a key player in midfield both before and after the sale of Bissouma to Tottenham last summer.
He has formed a formidable double-team partnership with Argentina’s World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister after the departure of Bissouma, but he is only isolated in such a way that he can operate in midfield or defensively or in a back three.
Caicedo caught the eye of Arteta on his Premier League debut in Brighton’s 2-1 win at the Emirates last April, a defeat that dented Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. An excellent display included an exchange of passes with Trossard before passing to Enock Mwepu for a decisive finish.
On that basis alone, Arsenal supporters should be excited by Caicedo reuniting with Trossard following the Belgian’s move to the Emirates earlier this month.
Remarkably, Brighton have won or drawn 25 of the 31 games in which Caicedo has worked. 21 In, he is of a singular character and without a group and finished. He’s a mediocre asset in possession, less so in defensive situations, but Caicedo has a strong tactical and positional awareness, helping to defend, winning the ball and using a crisp and composed pass.
He is also aggressive, athletic and mobile with a strong shot and an eye for goal when the opportunity arises, as he showed with a brace against Manchester United last season and in charge of Potter’s final game, at home to Leicester in August.
Potter noted at the time that he ordered about 40,000 boots to “probably get the boots.” His successor at the Amex Stadium, De Zerbi Caicedo, looks to be potentially one of the best midfielders in Europe.
In a paternal interview with Caicedo on Wednesday, the Italian urged Caicedo to stay for “another four months”, pointing out the inappropriateness of a mid-season move. “It doesn’t make much of a difference if he leaves now or in the summer,” says De Zerbi. “If you’re good, you’re a good player, but you’ll also have a chance next summer and winter. Always.”
But on Friday night, Caicedo released a statement on social media where he said he wanted to leave his club. He said: “I am grateful to Lord Bloom and Brighton for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League and I feel that I have always done my best for them. Always with a smile and a happy heart.
“I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor education in Santa Domingo, Ecuador. My dream has always been to be the most decorated player in Ecuadorian history.
“I am proud to be able to bring a transfer fee to Brighton that will allow us to restore it and help the club continue to be successful.
“The fans have taken me back to their hearts and they will always be in my heart so I hope they can understand why I want to take this opportunity of greatness.”
I am grateful to Mr. Bloom and Brighton for giving me the opportunity to go to the Premier League, and I feel that I have always done the best for them. Always with a smile and a happy heart.
I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor education in Santa Domingo, Ecuador. pic.twitter.com/QLiDyDrTGo
— Moisés Caicedo (@MoisesCaicedo55) on January 27, 2023
What do you want from Caicedo?
It would be a notable transfer fee for a defensive midfielder who has only made 20 Premier League appearances, but some of Caicedo’s other numbers hint at why he has become one of the most coveted players in the division.
His first League goal came in May, but it was in the first half of 2022-23 that Caicedo – who scored in the World Cup against Senegal – has grown into such a talent that he is interested in the biggest clubs in the federation. His output from the site is completely lying as close as possible to Rodri without acting to be- Manchester City player.
So far this season, only Rodri (4.15) has a greater xG value from the following open pass plays initiated than Caicedo (3.08), while only Rodri (90) — again — has been involved in a more open play. sequences that end in shots than Caicedo (55).
Defensively, Caicedo ranks in the top five percent for tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes across Europe’s top five leagues, while he is the third best midfielder in the air among his Premier League contemporaries, with aerial success. 70 percent. He also fit quite well into the Arsenal team, playing as part of a double wave at Brighton in a wide 4-2-3-1.
And while he is not in the team to create metascoring opportunities, Caicedo’s 2022-23 open play chance creation rate of 1.12 per 90 is almost on par with Rice (1.10), Bruno Guimaraes (1.15) and, guess what, Rodri (. 1.09).
City may have sold Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to them last summer, but there’s no way Pep Guardiola will ever allow a man in the arsenal to anchor the heart of his midfield. If they succeed in signing Caicedo, Arsenal will arguably do what is next.
(Top photo: Getty Images; graphics: Mark Carey)