Football News

Robert Pires says Arsenal are prepared to “spend big” on Moises Caicedo

By Ben Green

Published: 23:23, 12 June 2023

Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes his former club are willing to go all out in an effort to lure Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo to north London.

Mikel Arteta is thought to be intent on strengthening his midfield this summer with Granit Xhaka set to leave — and the two players most prominently linked have been Brighton’s midfield metronome and West Ham captain Declan Rice.

Caicedo has risen to quite stratospheric heights on the South Coast since moving to the Premier League as an unheralded gem from Ecuador in 2021. He was the subject of transfer interest from the Gunners in January — and speculation has refuelled in the post-season.

An elegant yet tenacious tempo-setter, the 21-year-old has all the attributes of an Arsenal midfielder, combining meticulous ball movement with an industry and enterprise that chimes with the high pressing demands of Arteta’s style.

Whether a move materialises remains to be seen — but it is believed Caicedo will be leaving this summer after Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi conceded, “I think that can be the last game of Alexis and Moises, I’m really sorry,” in the immediate aftermath of the club’s final game against Aston Villa last month.

And former Arsenal winger Pires believes the Gunners will indeed reignite their efforts to prise the midfielder away from the Amex this summer.

He told El Canal del Futbol: “I hope he signs for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta wants him, he’s got all the tools needed to succeed at Arsenal. The club are willing to pay big money for him, and that’s a testament to his ability.”

Caicedo was a near ever present in Brighton’s side across 2022/23 as the club finished sixth and achieved European football for the first time in their history.

Only two players created 40 or more chances from open play, made 40 or more successful tackles and made 40 or more interceptions this season in the Premier League: one of those was Caicedo — the other was Trent Alexander-Arnold.