Liverpool can be said to be ready to compete on all fronts when the 2023/24 football campaign finally kicks off after sealing a British-record deal worth £111M for Moisés Caicedo.
The move sees the Reds beat Premier League rivals, Chelsea in the race to sign the Ecuadorian international, who could undergo a medical as early as Friday (today).
It will also smash Liverpool’s record transfer when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for £75M in January 2018, although their purchase of Darwin Nunez could rise to £85M.
Liverpool stumbled in all competitions last season as they failed to win a trophy and also couldn’t make the top four, which could have made them qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
But with Caicedo set to join from fellow Premier League side, Brighton & Hove Albion for a British-record fee, the midfielder complements the previous summer signings made by the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were always in need of a rebuild in midfield, having allowed James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave upon the expiration of their contracts.
They started the transfer window positively by signing World Cup winner, Alexis Mac Allister who played alongside Caicedo at Brighton, as well as Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig.
But their midfield shortages reached near-emergency levels when club captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both left Anfield for lucrative moves to the Saudi Arabian Professional League.
Caicedo who plays as a defensive midfielder, will certainly help Liverpool a great deal, as the 21-year-old also knows how to join the attack while carrying out his primary assignment to the letter.
With the signing of Caicedo, Liverpool appear ready to compete again in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao/English Football League (EFL) Cup in the 2023/24 season.
What would Caicedo bring to Liverpool?
Caicedo was a key cog in Brighton’s 2022-23 season, playing a crucial role as the Seagulls registered their highest-ever Premier League finish and qualified for Europe for first time in their history.
Only two players (Pascal Gross and Lewis Dunk) played more minutes than his 3,140 and the Ecuadorian featured in all but one match.
He was mainly deployed as one part of a double pivot in central midfield, although he did showcase his versatility by playing a couple of shifts at emergency right-back, most notably in Brighton’s 1-0 home win over Manchester United in early May.
Caicedo is the perfect defensive ball-winner with the most obvious part of his game is his defensive work.
He is magnificent in covering ground across the pitch. Often that’s in front of Brighton’s back four, but when their high press is beaten and opposition players break between the lines, Caicedo’s ability to recover and win the ball back is immense.
Caicedo’s defensive numbers are outstanding. Only Fulham’s João Palhinha made more tackles than him in the Premier League last season (144 to 100), and only Declan Rice made more interceptions (63) than his 56.