Moises Caicedo: what he would bring to Arsenal
Ecuador international Moises Caicedo has handed in a transfer request to Brighton and Hove Albion, and is a target for Arsenal.
Moises Caicedo took to Instagram to thank club owner Tony Bloom for the opportunity in England, but revealing that he is ready to leave for a new challenge. After Arsenal missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, the club have now brought in Leandro Trossard from Brighton and could now raid their Premier League rivals once more in signing the defensive midfielder.
Arsenal have performed well above expectations this season, and this is in part due to the impressive form in midfield of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. In the past, Xhaka's disciplinary issues have cost him game time, and Partey's ongoing injury issues prove a cause for concern. Mikel Arteta knows that, at the half way point of the season, bringing in a midfielder that could provide cover for the duo is necessary.
Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice have been linked with a move to the Emirates. However, the January transfer window has revealed that Arteta and director of football Edu actually prefer Caicedo to the latter.
The 21-year-old is a versatile player. For his country, he has appeared 28 times and has a decent record of three goalscoring contributions, whilst for Brighton two goals in 26 Premier League games is a great return for a defensively minded player.
Caicedo brings a strong range of passing - in the mould of a number 8 like Xhaka - but also solid defensive cover, and could fill in for Thomas Partey if necessary. The combination of Caicedo having the ability of a number 6 and a number 8 is exactly what Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta needs.
Just yesterday, Arsenal had a bid of £65 million rejected for the Ecuadorian, and the midfielder is hoping that a transfer request will help push through a move to the Emirates. With just two days remaining of the transfer window, you can be sure that Arsenal will not be giving up until the very end to persuade Brighton to sell. Moises Caicedo's club have rejected all offers for the player up until this point, including a bid of £50 million from Chelsea. Eyefootball also understands that Bayern Munich have an interest, as do Spanish side Atletico Madrid.
Caicedo is able to operate within a low centre of gravity, and has excellent dribbling skills. On the defensive side, he is strong and very brave, able to retrieve the ball quickly and distribute to create attacks. His passing is brilliant, he has a real eye for an assist and can spread the ball long as well as play a short passing game. In one sense, many compare Brighton's style of football to Arsenal's, so there would be no doubt that the player would settle in quickly at the North London side.
At Brighton, manager Roberto De Zerbi tends to deploy the player in a more conservative role, and so at Arsenal you may likely see him play as cover for Thomas Partey.