Moises Caicedo’s next club decision is blindingly obvious amid Arsenal, Man Utd, and Chelsea links

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The Brighton midfielder is expected to be in demand this summer

Ask Paulie Walnuts who parted the Red Sea, and he’d tell you ‘Moises’. Ask any football fan with even the most casual of interests in the speculation rat race which Brighton player is likely to cause the greatest transfer hullabaloo this summer and they’d probably give you the same answer.

Moises Caicedo is a very, very, very popular boy at the moment. The Ecuadorian has shone for the Seagulls in recent months, and has done enough on the south coast to garner plenty of attention from a dusting of the Premier League’s fattest cats. In particular, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal are all understood to be interested in luring him away from the south coast in the coming weeks, but of course, that then begs the question as to where he would be best headed. Allow us to mull it over together...

Pervis Estupiñán [left] admitted he and has Brighton & Hove Albion teammates ‘fear’ losing midfield maestro Moisés Caicedo [right] in the summer transfer window. Picture by Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesPervis Estupiñán [left] admitted he and has Brighton & Hove Albion teammates ‘fear’ losing midfield maestro Moisés Caicedo [right] in the summer transfer window. Picture by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Pervis Estupiñán [left] admitted he and has Brighton & Hove Albion teammates ‘fear’ losing midfield maestro Moisés Caicedo [right] in the summer transfer window. Picture by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Manchester United

Let’s start with Manchester United, who must be kicking themselves right about now. Once upon a time, the Red Devils nearly signed Caicedo for a relative pittance. Now if they are to bring him to Old Trafford, it will cost them tens of millions of pounds. And that’s a conservative estimate.

In fairness, Erik ten Hag could use a player like the Ecuadorian - somebody capable of breaking up attacks and striding forward with the ball to put an opponent on the back foot. This hybrid role, somewhere between a traditional number 6 and a number 8, would in turn allow Casemiro to dedicate more of his game to doing what he does best; that is, terrorising people into giving him possession like a schoolyard bully who went through a much earlier growth spurt than his peers.

But this article isn’t about what is best for Casemiro, it’s about what is best for Caicedo, and in that regard, United doesn’t immediately jump off the page as the most obvious - or indeed best - destination for the Brighton man. Maybe in time, Ten Hag can work to undo this reputation that the club has developed as a place where careers go to stagnate, or in some cases, die. But at the present moment in time, United still feel a touch like a Russian roulette revolver with five in the chamber. It’s not necessarily that it would be a terrible move for the midfielder, but it certainly feels as if there are easier, less risky ones out there.


Are Chelsea one such move? In truth, we probably won’t have a clearer answer to that until Mauricio Pochettino properly gets his feet under the table. What we do know, however, is that the Blues’ recent recruitment has been erratic, costly, and poor. That’s not to say that Caicedo would be a bad signing by any means, but it is worth asking what the South American would be getting himself into.

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Let’s not forget, he finished nearly twenty points above them with Brighton this season. Right now, despite the heft of their wage bill and the pedigree of the names printed on the shirts hanging in the Stamford Bridge dressing room, there is a strong argument to be made for a transfer to Chelsea representing a backwards step. At the very least, it is hard to deny that Todd Boehly’s project is in a much greater state of disarray. Then again, there are overturned jars of rainbow sprinkles with a more overt sense of logistical cohesion at the present moment.

In short, then, you have to wonder whether joining Chelsea would be the most sensible or prudent option for Caicedo this summer. And once your wondering was through, you’d probably have to conclude that it is not.


Which brings us to Arsenal; the club who are being linked with Caicedo the most stringently, and the side who - for my money at least - represent the most obvious destination for the midfielder. The Gunners, you see, could offer the player all kinds of things that his other suitors could not.

If he’s looking for a club who can help him reach a whole new level in his own personal development, just look no further than how much a smattering of recent arrivals in north London have bloomed under Mikel Arteta. If he’s looking for a secure footing that would also immediately catapult him to the brink of silverware, few projects in European football can claim to be as exciting or as well thought out as Arsenal’s.

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Tactically, it makes sense too - especially if the Gunners can get a deal over the line for Declan Rice. That central tandem - equal parts disruptive and creative - feels like the archetype for what a modern midfield should be; dynamic, energetic, adaptable. Arteta knows it too. There is a reason why Arsenal have shouted the loudest about Caicedo for the longest. They understand how significant he could be for them, and how magnificent he could become in his own right. He is genuinely, properly wanted at the Emirates, and not just because he is the latest voguish darling of the gossip columns.

It’s a deal that would suit the club, a deal that would suit the player, and a deal that - if executed correctly - could benefit both massively in the future.

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