The January transfer window is here and that means in the soccer world that there’s going to be new blood on some teams. Big transfers are usually reserved for the Summer window, but the Winter window is a time for teams to bolster their rosters for their domestic competitions or are looking to jump on a player for the future. During this window, which officially opened, teams are starting to make moves.
One move that is seemingly done is the transfer of Ecuadorian midfield prodigy, Moises Caicedo, to the English giants, Manchester United. To the viewers of European Soccer, he’s an unknown name, but to the viewers of South American soccer, his name has been generating excitement for quite some time. So whose Moises Caicedo and why should fans of Manchester United be excited?
Caicedo is a box to box midfielder that is known for breaking up plays in the midfield by using his mix of pace and strength. While he’s known for his athleticism, what’s impressive about his game is his intelligence and composure. Caicedo, a fan of Chelsea star Ngolo Kante, has modeled his game around Kante’s. Caicedo is known for anchoring the midfield for both his club team in Ecuador, Independiente del Valle (IDV), and the Ecuadorian National team. His passing is pinpoint and he can be offensive as well. When isn’t playing defensive midfielder he can press forward and is more than capable of hammering goals from outside.
At only 19 years old his game is mature far beyond his years and with only 30 appearances for IDV, he’s left a strong impression in South America in a short time. Highlights against the well-decorated Brazilian club, Flamengo in the Copa Libertadores (South American Champions League) started the buzz around Caicedo. Attention he deserved by getting a goal and an assist in their 5-0 win over them. What’s even more shocking is that while playing with the first team, he was also play for the IDV U-23 team as well. Caicedo has work ethic and obviously has stamina as well.
Also impressive performances with the Ecuadorian National team where he commanded the squad and got big results against CONMEBOL teams. Games like a 4-2 win against a strong Uruguayan team with Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani playing and 6-1 route of Colombia in World Cup qualifiers have shown the quality and the importance of Caicedo’s decision making. Even their only loss in the qualifiers a 1-0 loss against Argentina, showed how well Caicedo was able to contain the great Lionel Messi.
Caicedo is an underrated prospect with a strong possibility of turning into a world-class player. Many scouts and officials that pay attention to South American soccer know his potential and know how efficient he is on the field. A young kid with his mindset and drive is picture-perfect for a successful future. His maturity tacked with his intangible ability will make him a joy to watch.
Caicedo along with Gonzalo Plata in Sporting Lisbon, Leonardo Campana in Familicão, and Angel Preciado at Genk would be another young, Ecuadorian player playing in Europe. A crop of a strong generation of upcoming Ecuadorian soccer players has been progressively improving after winning the U-20 South American championship and coming in third place in the U-20 World Cup. Caicedo is the jewel of Ecuador, and with the help of Manchester United, he can develop and fulfill his potential.