Moises Caicedo was previously scouted by Manchester United; Brighton boss Graham Potter: "He has done very well in Ecuador and made his debut for his country just 18. He’s an exciting signing, but it is important we give him time to adjust"
Tuesday 2 February 2021 01:08, UK
Brighton have signed Ecuador international midfielder Moises Caicedo for £4.5m on a deal until June 2025.
The 19-year-old, who arrives from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle, was previously scouted by Manchester United and was linked with a move to Old Trafford over the last few weeks.
In October, Caicedo became the first player born in the 21st century to ever score in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying with a goal in Ecuador's 4-2 win over Uruguay, earning four caps in total to date.
"It's no secret we have been working to bring Moises to the club, and we are very pleased he is finally here," Brighton boss Graham Potter said.
"He will need time to settle in with the group, for us to get to know him and vice versa, as well as get up to speed and ready for the demands of the Premier League.
"He has done very well in Ecuador and made his debut for his country just 18. He's an exciting signing, but it is important we give him time to adjust."
Brighton also signed striker Billy Arce from Independiente del Valle in August 2018.
"Moises has had a lot of interest from clubs across Europe, which is understandable given how well he has done," Brighton's technical director Dan Ashworth added.
"He's been one the recruitment team has been aware of for some time and we are confident he is a player with a very exciting future ahead.
"It has been a complicated transfer, due to the current restrictions, and there has been a lot of hard work across several of the club's departments to get the transfer completed.
"Moises is still a young player, moving away from his country for the first time, so we allow him the time he needs to adjust and adapt."
South American football expert Tim Vickery believes Manchester United will rue not following through with their interest for Caicedo.
"Manchester United's loss is Brighton's gain," he said.
"They [Brighton] will be getting an absolutely terrific player. Independiente de Valle [are] a little club who exists in order to develop players to sell them. They bring in top-class Spanish youth coaches to develop their players.
"In 2020, you saw the good formation that Moises Caicedo had. Stepped into the first team... breeze. Stepped into international football with Ecuador... breeze. He was up against Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia and makes it look easy.
"Box-to-box midfielder, terrific athlete, cool in possession. He is not a wizard, he is not a glamourous player but has so much to offer.
"If I had enough money I would buy him myself and put him on my mantlepiece."
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