Tony Evans: Moises Caicedo ‘is not gamechanger’ for Liverpool FC

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Things Just Got Surreal

After weeks of haggling over a couple of million quid with Southampton in an attempt to buy Romeo Lavia, Liverpool suddenly bet the farm on Moises Caicedo.

Fenway Sports Group have been criticised all summer for doing things on the cheap. This deal is eyewatering: £110 million. Mingebags no more.

This is one hell of a gamble. Some of us were amazed when Arsenal paid £105 million to West Ham United for Declan Rice. When did defensive midfielders become the hottest items in football?

For the sort of money Liverpool have laid out, you’d expect a transformative player. On the face of it, Caicedo is not a gamechanger. He doesn’t turn matches. The timing of his arrival has the whiff of panic buy.

The Klopp Era

On the positive side, the best two transfers of the Jurgen Klopp era were Virgil van Dijk and Alisson (and, yes, that’s taking Mo Salah into account). Both were considered overpriced but their presence in the team added mettle and turned a side that was sniffing around the top four into one that could go head-to-head with Manchester City and win trophies.

One of the things that Klopp brought to Anfield was the notion that, sometimes, buying potential was not enough. You needed to pay big money for fully-formed players who had proved they could do the job.

Van Dijk was 26, though. Alisson was a year younger when he arrived on Merseyside. Caicedo is just 21. He has made a mere 45 Premier League appearances for Brighton and his reputation is built on one good season. Well, it’s not my money.

Regardless of the fee, the Ecuadorian is a good addition. His understanding with Alexis Mac Allister is a bonus and the back four can breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that he’s the sort of player who will provide protection for them.

This is likely to be the defining deal of the rebuild yet it doesn’t feel like a carefully plotted swoop. It’s more a “fuck it, let’s do it.” Let’s hope the only thing silly about it is the money.

Klopp’s Determination

One thing you can be sure about is that Klopp is determined to bring more success to the club. He does not want to leave in 2026 without more trophies.

You can’t question his appetite. No one will put more effort into winning than Jurgen. He’s had a bit of bounce about him in pre-season – and a bit of anger, too. He’s at his best when he’s up for a fight. As long as the enemies are external.

The Chelsea Challenge

It is a good time to play Chelsea. There’s a lot of parallels at Stamford Bridge with the early days of FSG. They’ve got newish American owners who think they’re cleverer than everyone else in the Premier League. They are learning that they’re not.

Liverpool are still a couple of players short. Chelsea have more than they know what to do with. Literally. If Mauricio Pochettino can make sense of his squad quickly, it would be a shock.

They were expecting to sign Caicedo. After Mac Allister signed at Anfield, they thought they’d have a clear run at him. The sight of the midfielder in a red shirt will infuriate them. But this is a chance for Liverpool’s attack to take centre stage.

The past four games against Chelsea have ended 0-0. There’s definitely goals in this one and the majority of them should come from Mo Salah and co. The Bridge will be a good place to get the campaign off to a flying start.

The Joy of Football

This is a great time of year. I remember coming out of the Yankee (the American Bar) on Lime Street one warm August Friday night in the 80s. My mate Big Al sniffed the air and said with relish: “Winter’s coming. The season starts tomorrow. There’s a nip in the air. Good days ahead.”

Sometimes, with the fixation on transfers and money – yeah, the squad is still two players short – you can miss the most important thing. The simple pleasure of watching football. And on the eve of the season, you can allow yourself the luxury of dreaming.

Who knows where we’ll be in May but it should be fun finding out.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t agree, I don’t think this does whiff of panic buy, I think it shows that behind the scenes they do still know what they’re doing. Has this been in the offing since Mac Allister was snapped up at a bargain bucket price?
    Was the Mac Allister fee scoffed at or deemed genius? Was the start of the Caicedo process?
    You don’t know. Your article has as much conjecture in it as my comment has blind faith in the abilities of the transfer board at Anfield.

  2. And now do we look like fools? For me this is not a thought out transfer. I thought players were vetted to see if they had the chemistry to fit into a squad? It’s disappointing a young man has no real understanding of history. Being snubbed for Chelsea wow. I honestly felt Lavia was a better option and was fuming we didn’t pay the extra 3m£ then this gutted

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