Chelsea Could Forget Caicedo With Swoop For £50m “Monster”
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is plotting moves to improve his squad after the club finished in the bottom half of the Premier League table last term.
The Argentine head coach has been appointed as the long-term replacement for Graham Potter after Frank Lampard saw out the season on an interim basis, and is reportedly looking to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
It was recently reported by the Daily Mail that the Blues are planning to step up their negotiations with Brighton & Hove Albion to land central midfielder Moises Caicedo this summer.
They stated that the club have already had one offer of £60m rejected by the fellow top-flight side and that the Seagulls are hoping to rake in a fee in excess of £80m for the Ecuador international, although it remains to be seen whether Chelsea are willing to match their demands or not.
However, with Manchester United now reportedly turning their own attention to Caicedo, Pochettino could be forced to change his plans. That may well prove fruitful though if they sign a “monster” – as he was described by journalist Benjy Nurick – in Romeo Lavia from relegated Southampton.
What is Romeo Lavia’s style of play?
The Belgian defensive midfielder is a reported transfer target for the Blues, although Arsenal are said to be leading the race for his signature at this point in time, and is available for a fee in the region of £50m.
This means that the club could snap him up for as much as £30m less than the Brighton star, which has the potential to be a terrific move by Chelsea as the Saints youngster is two years younger and has shown great potential in the Premier League.
In the player radar below, as provided by Opta, Caicedo clearly excels at winning possession back for his side and Lavia is a player who has displayed similar destructive attributes.
These metrics indicate that both players are able to be defensive anchors for their respective teams in the middle of the park as they are capable of consistently breaking up opposition attacks at Premier League level.
The Southampton star has averaged 3.77 tackles and interceptions combined per 90 over the last 365 days for his club and this stacks up well against the Brighton enforcer’s 4.48 tackles and interceptions in the same period. In may not be quite as many as Caicedo, but Lavia has won more blocks and made more clearances per 90 than the Ecuadorian.
Therefore, he could well be an excellent alternative to Caicedo as, at two years younger than the 21-year-old, he has already proven himself to be a defensive force in the top-flight of English football.
Lavia is a proven performer and, at the age of 19, has plenty of time left ahead of himself to develop and improve with Pochettino’s coaching.