The record-breaking star linked with Man United and Chelsea, compared to Man City legend and ‘more than N’Golo Kante’ January 7, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
It’s generally been a quiet January transfer window so far but it’s threatening to kick into life very soon.
West Ham are cutting their losses with record signing Sebastien Haller, while Manchester United and Chelsea are looking at South America to make what could be a pretty big move.
Moises Caicedo, a 19-year-old midfielder from Ecuador, is reportedly on the radar of the Premier League clubs, while Everton are also circling.
He’s relatively new on the scene, having only made his debut for Ecuador’s international side in September 2020.
However, there’s already plenty of excitement about the player who’s been likened to N’Golo Kante, as well as Manchester City legend Colin Bell.
talkSPORT.com gives you the lowdown on Caicedo and what lies ahead for him in the future.
What’s the gossip? (Include potential cost)
As mentioned, United and Chelsea are understood to be monitoring Caicedo, it’s also understood a team from one of the top five leagues in Europe are interested.
South American football expert Tim Vickery says the Red Devils are ‘locked in’ to sign Caicedo, who plays for Ecuador outfit Independiente del Valle.
However, Ecuadorian publication Extra claims Everton and an unnamed MLS side are in the race too. It adds that Everton are frontunners to sign him.
That’s likely this would be a better investment than 33-year-old Sami Khedira, who’s been linked with a reunion with former boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Caicedo is primarily a central midfielder but has plenty of experience in a more defensive midfield role too. He’s played three of his four matches for Ecuador there.
His biggest strength is his mobility. Caicedo is a box-to-box midfielder who loves a tackle but not only does he do that well, he has an excellent ability to turn the ball over into an attack for his team at a rapid rate.
He makes lung-busting runs, similar to what Yaya Toure did at Man City. Stadning at 5ft 10ins, he looks elegant on the ball.
Caicedo says Kante is an idol of his but he offers more going forward than the Chelsea star. He’s not afraid to take a shot from distance and has a decent long passing range too.
Club career so far
He broke into Independiente’s first team in October 2019, aged 17. Caicedo boasts six goals and two assists in 31 appearances for his club.
Hardly earth-shattering stats but what he’s done at youth level gives a better indication as to why there’s so much fuss about him.
Caicedo helped his club win the Under-20 Copa Libertadores for the first time in Independiente’s history, beating Brazilian side Flamengo and well-known Argentine outfit River Plate in the finals.
It’s his form on the international stage which has been most impressive and Caicedo already has an impressive record to boast about.
When netting in a win against Uruguay in October 2019, he became the first player born in the third millennium to ever score in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.
He made more of an impact in Ecuador’s November qualifiers, getting two assists in a win at Bolivia as well as providing an assist in a 6-1 trouncing of Colombia.
Ecuador are currently third in their group, behind Argentina and Brazil.
What is being said about him
It’s mainly Vickery who has been waxing lyrical about Caicedo, suggesting he could become a better all-round player than Kante.
“A year ago, he was talking about Kante of Chelsea being his role model and he is already more than that,” the South American football expert told talkSPORT.
“In say, a 4-2-3-1, he is like that second man in that line of two so he can defend, but he can also bomb forward. He’s timing his runs very well, he’s cool in possession and he seems to have the whole lot.
“I think he is a wonderful, wonderful signing.”
Vickery also said Caicedo is ‘in the same mould’ as Man City legend Bell due to his wonderful athleticism and natural ability on the ball.
“That kind of box-to-box midfielder that’s very much in the tradition of the England game. Strong, quick, intelligent and cool. He really does look like the genuine article,” Vickery added.
Where he would fit in at Manchester United and Everton
We’ve left Chelsea out as they tend to play a 4-3-3 system, something that Caicedo isn’t so used to. However, he’d slot in at Man United, who usually play 4-2-3-1.
Vickery says Caicedo is best suited as one of the defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1. His ability to get up and down would give United’s attacking players more freedom to focus on doing just that.
We could see him playing in a slightly more advanced role at Goodison Park, with Allan the designated defensive midfielder.
However, against stronger opposition, Caicedo could fulfil his defensive duties while carrying the ball to Everton’s more creative players.
Whatever club he joins, Caicedo looks to be a serious talent for the future.