Before the signing of Jorginho, Arsenal attempted to lure Caicedo from a rather stubborn Brighton and Hove Albion who stood firm in January and were adamant the player was not for sale. Brighton were firm with the fact that there is no price that would see them let Caicedo move away from the club.
Multiple reports have suggested that Arsenal will make a move for Declan Rice this summer. However, if possible, I reckon it would be brilliant if Arsenal managed to get both Caicedo and Rice into the team. In a previous article, we discussed how Declan Rice could possibly even play the #8 role rather than the traditional #6 that he normally does.
Now let’s have a look at Caicedo and how he could come in alongside Rice and play as a #8.
Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice are both brilliant players who are vital to their respective clubs. Caicedo operates as a #6 in Brighton as does Rice for West Ham. However, when compared to Rice, Caicedo is not as good of a #6 mainly due to his lack of height, which gives him a disadvantage in aerial duels and that is an important area for a defensive midfielder.
That does not mean that Caicedo’s height injures his ability to play as a #6, he is still a very good player in that position however, Rice’s height gives him multiple advantages such as aerial dominance, ability to intercept more balls due to his long legs, etc. So if Rice and Caicedo both come into the summer, how would Arteta choose between Partey, Jorginho, Rice and Caicedo? It’s simple really, he very likely would not.
Caicedo due to his shorter height, has the ability to be more agile, and this enables him to dribble with the ball closer to his feet, much like Bernardo Silva does. He is a progressor– a player who can take the play forward, and a circulator– a player who can create play by simply knocking the ball around. He is also bold and instructs his team-mates where they must pass and this allows him to dictate how the team plays out their attacks.
This is a brilliant quality to possess, and speaking of possession, because of his close-dribbling ability he is press resistant and he also passes the ball around really well. All of these qualities are very similar to what we have seen Mikel Arteta incorporate into Granit Xhaka, Arsenal’s current #8. Arteta will very likely do the same with Caicedo and when he does do that, Rice and Caicedo can be Arsenal’s new Partey and Xhaka. However, it is worthy to note that Caicedo has the potential to be a much better #8 than Xhaka.
Caicedo will be played as a #8 and because he is a defensive midfielder, he will be able to retain the ball high up on the pitch. He has the ability to dribble really well which will allow him to open up multiple possibilities in attack. Caicedo also dictates plays, instructs and takes charge and this is key when going forward. Rice will be a similar stature except in the #6 role.
Caicedo and Rice playing in the same team would be scary for anyone and I’m sure all Arsenal fans are hoping both will end up at the Emirates Stadium under Mikel Arteta come next season.