It was not the first time we’d see players make a public appeal to their clubs to be allowed to complete a ‘dream’ transfer.
Just last August, Manchester United star, Antony, revealed during an interview that he had been in talks with Ajax about his desired exit since February 2022. This came after Manchester United reportedly had a €90 million bid for Antony rejected by the Dutch giants, with just five days remaining during the summer transfer window. The Brazilian, who has struggled to enjoy a start to life at Old Trafford, would later be granted a transfer.
Therefore, it seemed like déjà vu when Moises Caicedo, a Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder, publicly indicated interest to leave the Amex Stadium with just four days remaining during the January transfer window.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been linked with a move for the Ecuadorian international, with reports that Brighton rejected a deal understood to be around £60 million by the Gunners. In what might seem as the last resort to force a move away from Brighton, Caicedo refused to show up for training and took to social media asking to ‘take up magnificent opportunity’. He posted:
- “I am grateful to Mr Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them. I always play football with a smile and with heart.
- “I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream has always been to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.
- “I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful.
- “The fans have taken me into their hearts and they will always be in my heart so I hope they can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity.”
Who is Caicedo and why are England’s biggest clubs looking to break the bank to sign him?
Born Moises Isaac Caicedo Corozo on 2nd November 2001 in the city of Santo Domingo in Ecuador, he came through the youth ranks at Ecuadorian top-flight side, Independiente, before making his first appearance for the club in October 2019.
He quickly garnered attention and was dubbed Ecuador’s part-Kante, part-Pogba. His stocks continued to rise as he made his first senior appearance for his country just a year later, in a 1-0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification defeat against Argentina. Just four days later, he scored his first international goal in a 4-2 win over Uruguay, in turn becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier.
Before he accepted his four-and-a-half-year contract with Brighton and Hove Albion for an undisclosed fee, there were reports Caicedo had ‘agreed’ a deal to join Manchester United in January 2021. He was an unused sub for the Seagulls in an FA Cup loss to Leicester, before making his debut in an EFL second-round game against Cardiff in August.
More details on his previous conquests
Caicedo joined Belgian top-flight side, Beerschot on a season-long loan from Brighton on the transfer deadline day of August 2021. He was however, recalled in January 2022, due to a shortage of central midfielders at Brighton, and finally made his premier league debut in April, helping his side to a 2-1 win over Arsenal. He scored his first goal for the Albion in May, opening the scoring in a historic 4-0 win over Manchester United, with a 15th-minute low 25-yard strike.
In the current season, he has scored and assisted once in 18 appearances but has established himself as one of the most consistent midfielders in the Premier League over the last 12 months, earning interest from a plethora of top clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
With injury concerns to Thomas Partey, Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta would be looking for an experienced central midfielder to sustain their title charge.
Chelsea will be looking for a cheaper alternative for Enzo Fernandez and Declan Rice, as the Blues look to arrest a midfield deficit caused by incessant injuries to Ngolo Kante and new signing Denis Zakaria. Caicedo, 22, fits into the long-term rebuilding plans of the new owner, Todd Boehly.
Liverpool has been on the market for a midfield addition since last summer, but it’s left to be seen if they can be willing to match Brighton’s valuation of Caicedo.
Indeed, Brighton has since decided to give Caicedo time off until after the winter window shuts, hoping it will help their player refocus for the second half of the 2022/23 campaign whilst also affirming that the talented youngster is not for sale. This is similar to the tactic employed with Marc Cucurella over the summer, with the Spaniard later joining Chelsea.
As the January window enters its last 48 hours, transfer business seems to be hotting, and we look to see if Brighton can hold on to Moi, even if their £75 million valuation of the player is met.