Arsenal have made it a transfer priority to strengthen their midfield this summer and Kieran Gill of the Daily Mail says the Gunners are expected to return for Moises Caicedo this summer after failing in January.
The 21-year-old, who is one of many players Brighton & Hove Albion will have to fight to keep, was the subject of a £70m bid in the winter transfer window, but Brighton fended off Arsenal’s pursuit.
Fraser Fletcher of Football Insider said only days ago that Arsenal are monitoring his situation at the Amex Stadium, so it remains to be seen if Brighton can avoid the inevitable. Chelsea are another team to have shown interest, and Caicedo is reportedly open to a departure, so he might lead a Seagulls exodus.
The Ecuadorian international joined Brighton from Independiente in February 2021 and was loaned out to Beerschot V.A in August, but he became a regular upon his return the following year and has gone on to make 47 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals with three assists.
Caicedo is a defensive-midfielder who can play as a makeshift right-back, so he’ll bring some versatility to the Arsenal squad. The 21-year-old would be first for tackles per game (3.0) and interceptions per game (1.5), while being fifth for chances created per game (1.2) and fourth for passes made per game (60.4).
Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider said in April that it may take a bid of £80m for Brighton to part company with their star player, so Arsenal would have to break their transfer record – £72m for Nicolas Pepe in August 2019.
Mikel Arteta has Thomas Partey who is first choice in Caicedo’s position while Jorginho is a solid midfield option, but he’s building a squad to challenge on all fronts next season. Squad rotation is important when playing in the Champions League, so it makes sense to strengthen key areas.
Mohamed Elneny would be the backup choice for Partey and Jorginho, but he’s been short of playing time due to injury, so Caicedo might end up being his replacement and upgrade. Brighton have him tied down until 2027 and could be in the Europa Conference League next season, but Arsenal are chasing the Premier League title and will soon be in the biggest European competition.