Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo has explained why he declined a move to Liverpool in favour of joining Chelsea over the summer.
The 22-year-old — already capped 38 times for his country — left Brighton for Stamford Bridge for a British transfer record £115m in August, becoming the latest piece in Chelsea’s rebuild under Mauricio Pochettino.
However, that move only transpired after Caicedo turned down an advance from Liverpool. Chelsea were the favourites to land his signature throughout the summer, but faced late competition from the Reds, who were looking for a new No.6 to replace the outgoing Fabinho.
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Caicedo has now revealed that, in the end, Liverpool’s push came too late in the day and that Chelsea’s ‘support’ made it ‘impossible’ for him to turn them down.
“I was talking with Chelsea for a long time. It was impossible to say no to Chelsea, because they were with me supporting me,” Caicedo told Sky Sports.
“In the summer I suffered a lot because it was complicated to leave Brighton. They were with me, and in the last moment Liverpool called me but it was [too] late because I wanted to play for Chelsea. It was tough to say no to Chelsea.”
Of course, Liverpool did land a midfielder from Brighton of their own, signing Argentine World Cup-winner Alexis Mac Allister for an initial £35m, rising to £55m.
Such has been Liverpool’s need at the base of midfield, Mac Allister has spent more time playing in a deeper role so far for Jurgen Klopp, despite being better known for his creative and goalscoring exploits further up the pitch during his spell with Brighton.
After a slow start, Mac Allister has grown into his new role for the Reds and now ranks among the top three at Anfield in several key stats in the Premier League this season, including passes completed (3rd), tackles (1st) and interceptions (2nd).
Unfortunately for Liverpool, Mac Allister is set to miss their clash with fierce rivals Manchester United this weekend thanks to a unique and rather gruesome injury picked up in a challenge with Sheffield United’s Vinicius Souza earlier in December, with the 24-year-old missing the subsequent two matches since.
“Never had this injury for one of my players before,” Klopp said of the issue. “But now we have it and I hope [the recovery] will not take that long.
“I would like to say it’s day by day, but that would make it [sound] like he could play the next game but he’ll not be ready for that, so I hope the next three/four days he makes big steps and we will see.”
Detailing the injury, Klopp added: “The other boy stepped on his knee and [his stud] went through pretty much the [whole] muscle to the bone.
“Now we have to wait until the bone is healed and until Macca can deal with the pain.”