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Chelsea Targets Moisés Caicedo After Copa América Triumph

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Chelsea Eyes Moisés Caicedo After Copa América Success

The mid-fielder has been Ecuador’s standout participant, critical for his upcoming area-final against Argentina. Moisés Caicedo confronted high expectancies after his file-breaking circulate to Chelsea final summer at Copa América.

Caicedo struggled a lot at the start. By Christmas, Chelsea was in the lower half of the table. It seemed they had spent too much on Caicedo and Enzo Fernández, his mid-field partner. Enzo also found it hard to adjust after moving from Benfica for £106.8m.

Liverpool had tried to buy Caicedo for £111m from Brighton but he turned them down. Klopp, Liverpool’s coach, said he was glad, “Other midfielders didn’t want to join Liverpool. We were so lucky.”

Despite a challenging start, Caicedo’s quality and youth demanded patience. As the season progressed, both he and Chelsea improved significantly. They finished strongly, winning five consecutive games to secure a European berth. However, the team swiftly replaced Mauricio Pochettino with Enzo Maresca soon after the season ended.

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With two major international tournaments happening this summer, the Italian coach will not closely assess some key players until later this month. However, he’ll be pleased to see Caicedo performing well at the Copa América, reaffirming Chelsea’s decision to sign him originally.

Ecuador tied with Mexico 0-0 on Monday, finishing second in their group and advancing to the quarter-finals against Argentina. They bounced back after losing 2-1 to Venezuela in their first game, where Enner Valencia’s early red card hurt their chances. Caicedo played a key role in their recovery.

Last week, Caicedo set up Piero Hincapie’s first goal in a three-1 win in opposition to Jamaica. He has been stable in midfield, making the maximum tackles and interceptions blended (20) of any participant within the tournament. Among midfielders, only Sergio Pena (14) has won possession in the midfield third more times than Caicedo.

Caicedo’s performances should impress Maresca. While not a traditional holding midfielder like Harry Winks, he excels with a 90.8% pass success rate, fourth highest at Chelsea last season. At Copa América, despite Ecuador’s low possession, he remains their most efficient passer, showcasing his diverse midfield skills.

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With Fernández on Caicedo’s right and new signing Dewsbury-Hall on his left in Maresca’s preferred 4-3-3 formation, Chelsea’s midfield looks strong. The £221m spent on Caicedo and Fernández should pay off this season. If they keep getting higher, Chelsea will have a powerful midfield trio that can compete with the high-quality within the Premier League.

Next up, Caicedo and Ecuador face a difficult undertaking against Argentina in the quarter-finals. Argentina, the world champions and favorites in Copa América, have dominated possession (66.5%) in the tournament, topping their group with three wins and no goals conceded.

Despite resting key players in their last match, they defeated Peru 2-0. Ecuador faces a daunting task against them at the NRG Stadium in Texas.

With Caicedo protecting the defense, Ecuador has a better chance against Argentina, but stopping their strong attack will be tough. Ecuador hasn’t beaten Argentina in almost ten years, but if Caicedo keeps playing well, it won’t be easy for Scaloni’s team in the quarter-finals.

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