Football

Boss of Arsenal and Chelsea target says player made a ‘mistake’ asking for exit

Arsenal

Arsenal and Chelsea target Moises Caicedo made a “mistake” when asking to leave Brighton, according to his manager Roberto de Zerbi.

The midfielder is seemingly one of the most wanted men of the January transfer window, with the Gunners and the Blues keen on his signature.

Liverpool have also been linked with the Ecuador international, but Arsenal made a concrete move with a recent £60m bid. Chelsea previously offered £55m, with both bids rejected by the Seagulls.

Arsenal and Chelsea target made a ‘mistake’

Caicedo has been one of Brighton’s stars of their superb campaign so far, with the Seagulls currently sitting sixth in the Premier League table. They are five points behind Tottenham Hotspur, but have two games in hand over the north London outfit.

Ecuador man Caicedo has shone alongside 2022 World Cup winner Alexis MacAllister in Brighton’s midfield, with the 21-year-old making 21 appearances in all competitions this season.

But his manager now feels – amid all the heroics – that Caicedo has made one mistake; asking for a move away from the club this month.

“We hope he stays with us until the end of the season,” said De Zerbi, as per BBC Sport. “In life you can make mistake. For everyone there are many solutions. We will see the best solution for him and for us.”

Caicedo attracting plenty of interest

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bring in a midfielder this month, in order to help provide healthy competition for the likes of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.

West Ham leader Declan Rice has been linked with a switch to the Gunners, as has Juventus man Weston McKennie, but the USA international looks set on a transfer to Leeds.

The latest reports suggest that Arsenal have now come back with a £70m bid for Caicedo, who recently penned an open letter to his current club asking for a transfer.

But that has seemingly been blocked, with Brighton boss De Zerbi since telling the midfielder to take time off until the January transfer window has come to a close.

However, positive news soon followed for the Gunners as the manager noted the Seagulls are “ready to go forward” without their midfielder.

Arsenal

Arsenal eyeing one of many Brighton stars

While Arsenal target Caicedo has been a hugely important player under De Zerbi this season, he is certainly not the only one. The likes of Solly March and Pascal Gross have been key at both ends of the pitch, with defenders Lewis Dunk and Pervis Estupinian also shining.

Teenage striker Evan Ferguson meanwhile has seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attackers, with the same to be said of Kaoru Mitoma.

The Japanese winger had been waiting in the wings to cause mayhem going forward as first-team regular Leandro Trossard stole the headlines in his position most weekends.

But the Belgian has long been forgotten about on the south coast since leaving for Arsenal given the rapid rise of Mitoma, who continued his fine run of form with a stunning winner against Liverpool on Sunday. He now has six goals to his name this season.

The 25-year-old joined Brighton from Kawasaki Frontale in August 2021, spending the 2021/22 campaign on loan at Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, whose majority owner is Brighton Chairman Tony Bloom.