Name: Moises Caicedo
Age: 21 (at time of writing)
Position: Central Midfield
Place of Birth: Santo Domingo, Ecuador
National team career: 25 caps (2 goals)
Current club: Brighton and Hove AlbionOpen in new window
Though he only made his Brighton and Hove Albion debut in April this year, Moises Caicedo is already expected to trigger a monumental bidding war for his services next summer, such has been his rise to prominence.
The 21-year-old’s already-high reputation could be set to rocket yet further in Qatar, however, with the Ecuadorian midfielder set to take centre stage for his nation against African Champions Senegal, the Netherlands and host nation Qatar. He will be central to any success that they have, and his game against the host side will place him firmly in the spotlight.
Arriving on UK shores in January 2021 from Independiente del Valle for just £4.5m, Caicedo spent six months in the Seagulls’ youth system before heading out on loan to the Jupiler Pro League and VA Beerschot for another six months.
Returning to Brighton in January, Caicedo made his first appearance three months later, thrown into the Seagull’s midfield against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, where he registered an assist in an impressive debut performance.
He has not left the starting XI since on the south coast, starting in each of the final seven games of the 21/22 campaign, and he is yet to miss a game for the Seagulls so far this campaign either.
Speaking to 101, Brighton fan and football expert Jeremy Smith gave rave reviews for the latest star to turn up at the AMEX Stadium.
He’s a really good tackler, he can break lines with passes, and has scored a couple of goals from outside the area”, he explained.
“He has good awareness too, and has set up a couple of goals for Brighton.”
“He’s not the finished article yet, but the way someone so young and so experienced, especially in the Premier League, has been able to dominate games and put in man-of-the-match performances against big six teams, I think he’s done everything and more that we have expected from him so far.”
He has done so at the international level too: Handed the unenviable task of man-marking Lionel Messi on his debut, Caicedo took to the task with gusto, reducing the magician’s impact on the game significantly.
The midfielder has gone on to rack up 25 appearances for the South American outfit despite his tender years, and is an integral part of his national set-up under Gustavo Alfaro. With Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and clubs across Europe rumoured to be interested in signing the young star, performances at the World Cup will only serve to add yet more digits to his already hefty price tag.