Why Chelsea needs Moises Caicedo? Caicedo has impressed greatly during the 2022/23 season, and Chelsea are willing to do whatever it takes to bring the Brighton midfielder in as a replacement for Kante.
“N’Golo Kante is my idol. I like Kante’s style of play because he puts a lot of pressure. I learn every day watching him play. I think watching these top players will help you continue to improve,” said Moises Caicedo, a 19-year-old player who joined Brighton in 2021, and it seems like he has been studying French players a lot since then. After a dazzling career on the south coast, he is ready to step into the shoes of his idol at Stamford Bridge as Kante prepares to head to the riches of Saudi Arabia.
Despite a challenging 2022-23 season that saw Chelsea fail to secure a place in any European competitions, they are still leading the race to secure the prized signature of the Ecuadorian star ahead of rivals like Arsenal and Liverpool. Like his reputation, Caicedo’s value has skyrocketed since arriving in England for a fee of just £4.3 million ($5.5 million), but GOAL will explain why Chelsea should break the bank (once again) to sign him…
6 reasons why Chelsea wants Moises Caicedo
Chelsea in need of an “injury-proof” number 6
After witnessing his participation decrease in recent seasons due to more serious health issues, Kante’s time at Chelsea will come to a sad and abrupt end.
His issues reached a peak during the 2022-23 season after a serious thigh injury in August, with the French midfielder featuring in only 9 matches across all competitions, totaling just 685 minutes.
His absence has been strongly felt, with Kante being a transformative force in the matches he was fit towards the end of the season, while the lack of a pure defensive midfielder has often been exploited as Chelsea stumbled down the Premier League standings during his absence.
On the other hand, Caicedo has been virtually ever-present for Brighton since becoming an integral player for the team, with a muscle injury in 2020 being the most serious setback of his career so far.
Strength from South America
This is a transfer that creates potential for a South American combination at Stamford Bridge; Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino has been installed on the bench, and Chelsea signed compatriot and their main target in midfield, Enzo Fernandez, in January, after a brief flirtation with Caicedo as a second choice.
This is a trio that can benefit each other. Temporary manager Frank Lampard revealed in late May that Enzo’s English was not good, saying, “He doesn’t speak much English, but he’s learning quickly.” Caicedo is still learning and has previously spoken about the importance of having Spanish speakers around him – both on the training ground and on the pitch.
“I’m understanding it [English], learning new words and phrases constantly, but having Spanish speakers here to help me is very important. It only improves my English further. I also watch as much English TV as possible, as it helps me,” he said in 2022.
While they are learning English off the pitch, the ability to communicate in their mother tongue on the pitch cannot be underestimated in a position that requires constant communication. Meanwhile, Pochettino will be able to convey his ideas to both players on the training ground and from the touchline.
One of the main benefits of Chelsea signing a world-class defensive midfielder will be unlocking Enzo Fernandez. The World Cup-winning player has made almost no mistakes since his move from Benfica, but it’s clear that he has been playing it safe in attack, aware that he also has to do the job of a defensive midfielder due to Kante’s absence and the shortcomings of some midfield teammates.
While he has reduced misplaced passes and occasionally regained ball possession in ground duels, Enzo still lacks when facing faster players, as he was easily beaten by Borussia Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi in the Champions League round of 16.
In fact, Fernandez’s father, Raul, revealed that his son is excited about a more advanced role next season. “Enzo feels comfortable, happy, and is adapting to London,” he said. “He is very pleased with Pochettino’s presence. Next season? My son wants to become a champion. I think we will see Enzo playing in a more advanced position. He will ask [Pochettino] to play higher up.”
No need for Premier League adaptation time
It has been widely reported that Pochettino wants to build his Chelsea team on the foundation of a group of players with Premier League experience, and Caicedo clearly fits that criteria.
After attracting serious attention from Brighton’s renowned scouting department during his time at Independiente del Valle in his homeland in 2021, Caicedo only needed six months playing at Beerschot in Belgium before adapting perfectly to the demands of the Premier League in April 2022.
In the 2022-23 season, he ranked in the top 5 Premier League midfielders (minimum 900 minutes) for both successful passes and ball recoveries. His passing accuracy was only behind Manchester City star Rodri, and he ranked in the top 10 for interceptions, ball recoveries, duels won, and passes into the penalty area.
He has become a complete midfielder with great potential, and his coach, Roberto De Zerbi, has recognized that. “There are many players who are very good with the ball but not without it, in defensive space, they are not so good,” he said. “Others are very good in defensive space but have some problems with the ball. With Caicedo, I don’t see anything that is not at a very high level.”
Players of the present and future
Caicedo also fits into Chelsea’s strategy of signing players under the age of 25. Alongside Enzo, they will feel they have a midfield – and potentially a team – that can compete for years to come.
Of course, Pochettino has also built a reputation for developing young players and improving those who previously underperformed.
While no player falls into that category, it’s no surprise that Enzo is excited to work with his compatriot. Meanwhile, Caicedo has been on an upward trajectory.
Chelsea need to ‘win the Cancedo deal’ to assert their value
After perhaps the most embarrassing season in the modern history of the club, Chelsea need wins wherever they can get them. Convincing a midfielder sought after by many top European clubs would be a small advantage – and they could reap long-term rewards if the Enzo-Caicedo duo can develop well.
The 21-year-old player has attracted serious interest from Chelsea’s Premier League rivals like Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United, but it seems the West Londoners have done enough to persuade him to turn down Champions League or Europa League football to join Pochettino’s project.
As long as Sporting Director Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart avoid overpaying and Caicedo adapts as quickly as he did at Brighton, signing him will be considered a real triumph – and the kind of signing that can help propel the club back to the top of the Premier League.
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