Should Arsenal have gone back for Moises Caicedo rather than Lavia?

In the winter transfer window, we were made to believe that Moises Caicedo was the exact kind of midfielder Arteta wanted. Two “rich bids” from Arsenal for his swoop were rejected by Brighton. We were led to believe the Seagulls were banking on Caicedo to help them seal a European spot, which is why they didn’t opt to cash in on their midfield engine.

Towards the end of the season, Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi then hinted that the Ecuadorian would be allowed to leave, signalling to his suitors like Arsenal that it was time to try again.

As per reports, the Gunners aren’t trying again, and the main reason is Romeo Lavia.

Caicedo is brilliant, but at this moment in time, he isn’t what Arsenal needs. Arteta believes he’ll sign Declan Rice. With Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, Arsenal’s main midfield set-up could be Rice as a No. 6 and Havertz and Odegaard as the two No. 8s. The other midfielder to join will likely be more of a backup midfielder.

Is that a role Caicedo would take on? Certainly not, but Lavia would. I bet the Saint relishes the chance of working under Arteta, even as a deputy to Rice.

The Belgian, who may also be signed for about £40 million, is cheaper than the Ecuadorian, for whom Brighton wants as much as £80 million.

Ultimately, Caicedo is more established, but the decision makers may be looking at Lavia and seeing in him a younger and cheaper option that would complement their existing options with his enormous potential.

Is a Caicedo snub for Lavia a wise move?

Darren N

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Tags Caicedo Lavia


  1. It depends on if they are prepared to pay the price for Rice?
    If Arteta decides that £40mil. Lavia and £80mil. Caicedo is better than £120mil. Rice.

    1. You may be right, but I think Caicedo will go for 100 and Lavia may go has high as 50, both players are being sought by numerous clubs.

    2. A great Idea if it can be explored by the club.

      I strongly believe we’ll get more value in a Caicedo deal rather than a Rice deal.

      And I absolutely don’t see him being sold for anything more than the quoted £80million.

  2. I think Arteta has decided to sign Timber to rotate with White/ Tomiyasu for the right-CB and inverted-RB positions, instead of signing Caicedo for those roles

    As for Lavia, he might be needed as a homegrown midfielder to learn from Jorginho and Elneny for the CDM role. Unfortunately, Caicedo won’t help us beat the homegrown quota and his price tag is too high for a short foreign DM

  3. Seems to me that CAICEDO was, all along, going to cost almost as much as Rice but without his proven pedigree and obvious leadership and team harmonising quaities.
    So, as Caicedo is almost certainly now going to Chelsea anyway, I DO think that LAVIA, at a far less price , and IF it happens (which is still an IF only) is a better choice, esp given that funds are limited.

    1. Jon, agree with our post, but when I read that…. “funds are limited”…. my mind goes back to a conversation we had regarding the impact that coronavirus would have regarding the PL.!!

      I guess neither of us thought that the owner would back MA up to the tune of over £600,000,000 (if he spends the reported £200,000,000 available) along with the grotesque salaries Stan has obviously sanctioned.

      1. Yes indeed KEN and I am in the process of writing my overdue article -about which I promised Ad Pat a week ago- on the Kroenkes new attitude to our club in recent times.
        I’ll save the reasons why, for my piece but I reckon many will think the reasons to bethe same as I DO. We will soon find out.

  4. They are two things at play for Caicedo, Brighton were insisting that the Ecuadorian should be valued the same as Rice.

    The kid seems a little greedy on personal terms as his demands is massive for an proven premier league player.

  5. Ideally we will have two players for every position, whether that be by headcount or player flexibility. Caicedo would be a great asset, but I don’t think we can afford both and do everything else we need to do. We should hang on to Patino and sell Elneny. We would be all set with Rice, Odegaard, Havartz, jorghino, ESR, Lavia and/or Patino.

  6. Spending over £200m on 3 players will provide no guarantee to win silverware next season. It’s a huge risk for the club. If that didn’t work what do we do? Spend more? Never again can we accuse other clubs for buying success.

    Just some facts: Only Chelsea and Man Utd had a bigger net spend over the past 5 years. Ours was €544m and as an example Man City’s was €128m. Money on it’s own doesn’t guarantee success.

    1. That can’t be right… Grealish 100, Haaland 51, Phillips 42. Those three on their own already exceed the 128 that you have quoted in the last 2 years let alone the others they have signed over the last 5 years? 🤔

      City,Chelsea and United created this transfer fee monster. We are just trying to catch up. 👍🏻

        1. The stats are from CIES Football Observertory from the summer of 2018 and figures are in Euros. On this basis City obviously sell on well and we subscribed by buying Zinchenko and Jesus!

        2. Net spend is a decent indicator but it is not the whole picture since teams like city had been investing in expensive and quality players for a long time before they could eventually sell them for good prices when upgrading to younger or better players. Not to mention you can always sell players from a winning team at higher rates than you can from teams further down the table. Arsenal is only now getting to the place where they can sell players for more (if we continue succeed near the top of the table). The other side of the equation matters as well – if you are a winning side you can attract players more easily and sometimes pay less for them (e.g. Halaand had a 50 mil buyout clause which even mid table teams would jump at – except Halaand would never choose to join their clubs). On the other hand, teams trying to break into the top for or to challenge for the title often have to over pay (especially in salary) just to get good players to join their club. So net spend is a good metric but it does not tell the whole story.

    2. No guarantee whatsoever, but the minimum standard has to be CL football. Without the type of investment being promoted we would not even be guaranteed that.

  7. The article seems to have overlooked the fact that we already have one of the best central midfielders in the EPL in Thomas Partey who is arguably our top player?

        1. I don’t disagree, but I am now getting used to the idea that he will be sold. When he was fit and on form he was brilliant, but I suspect those games are going to fewer and far between if we stick with him.

  8. Manchester City is an example of money buying success and they have been spending money since 2007 and paying handsome wages, we lost players to City remember?

    Am happy now because Arsenal seem to be going in that direction, we need quality players to influence our home grown, to make them better and competitive.

    Let’s do the catch up or else we will be a decade away from the rest.

    1. I agree we need to spend big and wisely. City are not where they are just because of the money, they have spent well and their coach is not too shabby either.

  9. Referring to both Jon and Ken, I believe there are two issues about Kroenke: Firstly, he was a victim of the old English saying that you give dog a bad name and you hang him. Secondly, after tasting a string of successes in the USA he is now hungrier for more success. Thirdly, Arteta, being a young man, might be more bold in telling Kroenke what he should do to achieve the same level of success at Arsenal. Fourthly, Kroenke might now feel a member of the Arsenal family more than previously and hence the greater desire to win. Lastly, after last season’s experience Kroenke feels it is possible for Arsenal to win the EPL.

  10. Let’s not forget about the influence of Josh Kroenke.

    He took a leading role with Denver Nuggets several years ago getting heavily involved in their operations. I don’t care for the NBA, but saw Denver won the title.

    No coincidence that with Josh’s increased involvement with Arsenal has seen us progress as well.

    Like Josh or not, he knows how to build a franchise; management, coaches, and players. Involvement and investment are paying dividends, and glad he’s taking a leading role.

  11. It will be sad to see Thomas Partey leave, but he has had troubles outside of football. Why we don’t look at Nicolo Barella I don’t understand…he is one of Italy’s top players.

  12. I believe we will get Rice because I don’t see him as a ‘Pep’ player. He barely uses Phillips who is similar to Rice but obviously at a lower level. He needs to replace his ex-captain Gundogan a totally different type of midfielder to the above mentioned.
    If Rice joins us don’t be surprised if Phillips ends up at WHU. Conspiracy theory? Maybe!

  13. Either Rice or Caicedo would enhance our midfield
    Both which I can’t see happening and we would have a fearsome midfield
    TP if the media is correct on reporting is going which is no surprise given his alleged personal problems still pending

  14. I don’t understand why people who have watched premier league football since Partey came to Arsenal think Rice is an upgrade. The guy is just hardworking like Elneny nothing more really. Caicedo is actually technically better. Rice is a homegrown player but we currently have plenty of those.

  15. 80M! Not a chance, Brighton now value Caicedo as more than 100M,guess why?because of Rice valuation.

  16. Well, I believe we should have bought Caicedo in the previous January window, instead of Jorginho!!!! Apparently we had the funds, but it seems the dynamic duo were saving their cash for this Summer.

    I think had we got him last January we would have made more of a fist of our run for the Title.

    I really hope I am wrong, but I fear we have wasted the money we spent on Havertz. He has slow feet. We are currently a quick team, with our one and two touch passing. I am NOT confident Havertz is that type of player. I see him as a luxury player, bought at a time when we need more artisans.

    My real worry for this summer’s window is that Arteta and Edu have a plan, to bring in several players and have budgeted for based upon their estimation of the price for each..

    The trouble is, the selling teams seem to have their own ideas on the worth of their players, and those are higher than our budgeted numbers.

    So Edu seems to be wasting time trying to negotiate the payment of those prices over a longer period, or as add ons,

    I think this is why the purchase of Rice is taking so long.

    I think Edu needs to quickly prioritize the top two or three on the list and at least get those across the line!!!

    Otherwise we might end up with the Lokongas and Vieras of this world, instead of Arteta’s wishlist.

  17. If Rice is coming, surely Lavia would be a better option. This is simply because Caicedo will not play second fiddle to Rice whereas Lavia would take the opportunity to learn and grow with the best. However, if Arsenal fail to get Rice than Caicedo will be the ideal choice and if Caicedo does not come or Arsenal do not get Caicedo than Partey will have to stay to groom and mentor Lavia. Lavia certainly has a very high ceiling.

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