Brighton table £4.5m bid for highly-rated Ecuadorian prodigy – A smart long-term investment?

Brighton have made an official bid for Moises Caicedo (Getty Images)

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Why Moises Caicedo would be a good long-term signing for Brighton

According to the Daily Mail, Brighton have tabled a £4.5million bid for in-demand Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo, who currently plies his trade with Independiente del Valle in his homeland. 

Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, Man United and West Ham have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the 19-year-old but Brighton are the club understood to be pushing the hardest for a deal in the January window (h/t Daily Mail). Caicedo made his first-team debut for Independiente del Valle in 2019 after coming through the club’s youth ranks.

The highly-rated teenager, who won the U-20 Copa Libertadores with his club, has made a total of 31 competitive appearances so far, scoring 6 times in the process. Caicedo is yet to establish himself as a regular starter but has already carved out a massive reputation for himself as one of the brightest emerging talents in South America. 

Solskjaer faces Heinze threat to bring Caicedo to Manchester United
Caicedo has made 31 appearances for Independiente del Valle in Ecuador (Getty Images)

Caicedo’s rise to prominence at Independiente was rewarded with a senior international debut against Argentina last year in October. The central midfielder found the net in the second appearance in a 4-2 win over Uruguay in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier, becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier. 

Putting things into perspective, Brighton beating off competition in the race to sign Moises Caicedo this month would represent an excellent coup with an eye on the future. The Ecuadorian prodigy has caught the eye in his homeland whilst interest from so many elite clubs in England clearly speaks volumes of his talent and potential. 

The Seagulls’ past working relationship with Independiente del Valle puts them in good stead to secure a deal for the teenager ahead of their Premier League rivals. Brighton snapped up Billy Arce from the same club in Ecuador back in 2018 and the winger has spent time on loan in his homeland over the past couple of seasons to further his development with regular game time.

A potential deal for Caicedo would represent a continuation of Brighton’s recent trend of plucking out hidden gems from far corners of the globe. The Seagulls roped in Viktor Gyokeres from the Swedish second-tier in January 2018 while young Dutch defender Jean Paul van Hecke and Swiss striker Andi Zeqiri both joined the ranks at the Amex Stadium this past summer.

Moises Caicedo 'a wonderful signing' as Manchester United favourites to  sign South American starlet 'who offers more than N'Golo Kante'
Moises Caicedo (Getty Images)

Brighton’s double raid on the Polish top-flight for Michail Karbownik and Jakub Moder grabbed plenty of headlines in the summer and the acquisition of Caicedo would be yet another massive statement of intent for the club. The Seagulls have aimed to build a strong platform for the future since the appointment of Graham Potter at the helm and the Ecuadorian starlet looks set for a bright future in the game. 

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Moises Caicedo is unlikely to stake a claim for a place in Brighton’s first-team even if a move to Sussex does materialise this month. It’s never easy for young players coming from South America to make an immediate impression in English football, considering the climatic and cultural differences.

The 19-year-old, though, has plenty of room for improvement and Brighton need to work out the right plan for his development should they end up striking a deal this month.