-0.2 C
Friday, December 1, 2023
HomeSport'Caicedo perfect for Chelsea but no panic for Liverpool'

‘Caicedo perfect for Chelsea but no panic for Liverpool’


Related stories

Watch: Musk attempts Cybertruck window stunt again

The pickup truck - Tesla’s latest offering - had...

Ukraine war: Zelensky says fortifying front lines must be accelerated

Ukraine's president meets frontline commanders and says winter is...

International tourism to end 2023 close to 90% of pre-pandemic levels: UNWTO

Asia and the Pacific lagged behind, reaching only 62...

'Digital activism has the power to influence politics'

Young people attend the Next Gen Conference 2023 to...

Meta takes down China-based network of thousands of fake accounts

In some cases the accounts copied and pasted verbatim...

I am surprised at the size of Moises Caicedo’s price tag but, after watching Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool, it is clear why both teams were battling to sign him from Brighton.There were plenty of positives for both teams to take away from an exciting game on Sunday, but you could see they are both badly in need of a holding midfielder.Now it looks like Chelsea have their man. I can understand why they see Caicedo as being the perfect player for that job, even if a British record fee of £115m seems a lot.Caicedo (right) made his Premier League debut for Brighton in April 2022 and has made 45 top-flight appearances for the Seagulls, scoring two goalsTwo sides to the holding roleCaicedo is quick and tenacious, and has got the legs of N’Golo Kante to get around the pitch, spot danger and put out fires. But, crucially, the 21-year-old Ecuador international is technically good too. If you are going to play as a ‘number five’ for a top team, you need to be able to use the ball, not just cover off the defensive aspect.Enzo Fernandez played there for Chelsea after signing in January and definitely ticks all those boxes, but he has been speaking about having a more attacking role under new manager Mauricio Pochettino and, going on what we saw on Sunday, he will be getting into more advanced positions this season.If Pochettino wants to play with a double pivot like he did when he was in charge at Tottenham – in other words, have two number fives – it will give Fernandez more freedom to get forward like that, but he needs someone alongside him who sits deeper and protects him. Conor Gallagher was asked to do it against Liverpool and we saw mixed results. I don’t think that is Gallagher’s best position, while Caicedo will be the perfect fit – but you could say exactly the same about the way he would have slotted into the Liverpool team.Mac Allister had a good game as their holding midfielder against Chelsea, in what was a very brave and attack-minded set-up by Jurgen Klopp. He had to play that way because he doesn’t have a defensive midfielder at the moment.Argentina international Mac Allister is a super-intelligent player who can win the ball back off the opposition as well as play through the lines when he has possession, but his physicality isn’t quite right for a defensive role.Also, because he is so creative and sees the killer pass, you ideally want Mac Allister higher up the pitch anyway.So, while he will be fine filling in for a game or two, and he did well – he hit some wonderful passes and played some intricate wonderful passes on Sunday – he is not the long-term answer there.Tonali shows the talent is out thereFrom my perspective, Liverpool need someone destructive and athletic who gives them the physical presence and power they were missing in the base of their midfield against Chelsea.But, equally importantly, whoever they sign must be able to do what Mac Allister did against the Blues, which is collect the ball under pressure, keep possession and play forward.Caicedo has been doing exactly that for a year at Brighton, so he is proven in the Premier League – which obviously pushes a player’s price up. That’s why Liverpool wanted him, and why they agreed a fee of £111m for him last week, before Chelsea came back in.He’s a wonderful talent but, even so, the kind of players I’d expect to see clubs spending so big on are what I would call game-changers – goalscorers and goal-makers, or creators.I’m thinking of the likes of Kevin de Bruyne or Bernardo Silva in the Premier League now or, in the past, David Silva, Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard.I’d understand if £100m-plus was being spent on those types in today’s market, but in the past few months we have seen clubs splash that money on Declan Rice, Fernandez and now Caicedo.They are all tremendous talents and I am a big admirer of all of them in so many ways, but I am just not sure you have to use so much of your budget to get a good player of that type.I saw how well Sandro Tonali did for Newcastle against Aston Villa and, at £55m, he cost half the price that Caicedo is set to go for.Now, you can’t tell me there are only three or four brilliant holding midfielders in the world, because there are lots of good players out there if your recruitment is good enough.Although Caicedo is a wonderful talent and I would have loved to have seen him in a Liverpool shirt, missing out on him is a blow, not a reason to panic.What is the back-up plan?Caicedo will be a great addition to Chelsea’s team. The question for Liverpool is: what now?Both teams have also been trying to sign Southampton’s Romeo Lavia – Liverpool apparently only want him or Caicedo, while Chelsea supposedly want both.Liverpool have been criticised for not getting the Lavia deal done already, especially because they did not expect both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to leave this summer.They got about £52m for the pair, so fans have been saying ‘why not go out and spend that on Lavia?’ to get one new player through the door.I get that but, on the flip side, in a world where transfer fees have gone crazy, there’s something admirable in Liverpool saying they are only going to pay what they think he is worth.We’ve seen Manchester City do it before – walk away rather than overpay. If someone wants to come in and pay more, then good luck.So I don’t mind Liverpool doing that, just as long as there’s a back-up plan if they miss out on Lavia as well as Caicedo. I’d be amazed if there wasn’t one.There is absolutely no way Liverpool can go through the season with what they have now in midfield, so someone will be coming through the door. We will just have to wait and see who it is.Danny Murphy was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Source link


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here