Edu Gaspar managed to secure three signings for Arsenal during the January transfer window and they could all play their part over the next few months as the North London side eye up their first Premier League title since 2003/2004.

Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior, and Leandro Trossard add some much-needed depth to Mikel Arteta’s squad, and with domestic and Europa League fixtures soon piling up, it was a wise move to bring in some cover.

Could it have been better, however?

With the club missing out on Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk, Arteta’s business may have looked a lot more encouraging had he landed one of those attacking options, yet it might well be a failed move for Moises Caicedo that could have the biggest impact.

Was Moises Caicedo close to joining Arsenal?

In the final days of the transfer window, Arsenal had two bids rejected by Brighton and Hove Albion for the Ecuadorian midfielder, but the club were looking at a fee of around £80m before they would even consider letting him leave.

It represented a fantastic opportunity to invest in a player who is not only good enough to play a part in the starting XI just now but could also become a mainstay for the next few years. Arteta went and signed Jorginho instead, who is clearly just a stop-gap signing.

Will Arteta regret not signing Caicedo?

This season, Caicedo has been in superb form, averaging a Sofascore rating of 7.11, which ranks him as not only Brighton’s fourth-best performer, but the 43rd in the whole of the Premier League, clearly demonstrating his talents and it’s no wonder there are a host of potential suitors eyeing a move for him.

His attacking statistics are solid enough for a more defensively-sound option, having registered two goal contributions, creating two big chances, and making 1.2 key passes per match, yet it is his defensive abilities that would’ve been of the biggest importance to Arteta had he signed the youngster.

Across 19 league appearances, Caicedo averages 1.4 interceptions, 2.9 tackles, 0.7 clearances while winning 5.8 duels per match – at a success rate of 57% – and this is quite incredible for a midfielder who is playing his first full Premier League campaign.

Ecuadorian football historian Enrico Castro-Montes once hailed the 21-year-old while speaking to Het Niuewsblad (via Sport Witness), saying:

“In his own country, he is really seen as the crown jewel of a new generation.

“Caicedo really has everything to become the best Ecuadorian footballer of all time. I think that off the ball, he is indeed somewhat reminiscent of Kante, but on the ball, he resembles Paul Pogba with his flair and his technique.”

High praise indeed and only another dagger to Arteta, who’ll surely be gutted to have missed out on such a quality individual and seemingly, Edu has let this one slip in a rare transfer blunder.

The next few months will be key in his development and if he carries on at his current rate of form, don’t be surprised to see the Spaniard back for a second bite of the cherry in the summer.


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