Everton could do a lot worse than to take a leaf out of Brighton and Hove Albion’s playbook.
Seven places and 12 points above an expensively-assembled Toffees side in the Premier League table, Graham Potter’s high-flying Seagulls have swatted aside Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United in recent weeks, proving once and for all that success can be achieved without bursting the bank.
Take note Farhad Moshiri.
First it was Yves Bissouma. Then Enock Mwepu. Now, Moises Caicedo.
Everton supporters will rightly and understandably be envious of Brighton’s remarkable track record when it comes to unearthing brilliant box-to-box midfielders. Particularly when you consider that, as of the last few months, 32-year-old Fabian Delph has emerged as Frank Lampard’s most reliable midfield option.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan, throughout much of a torturous campaign, haven’t exactly looked like a £60 million partnership. And, four years into his Premier League career, even the world’s great philosophers would struggle to figure out what it is £22 million Andre Gomes actually does.
Brighton 4-0 Man United; Moises Caicedo shines
You certainly can’t say the same about Caicedo. What does Caicedo do? Well, pretty much everything.
The 20-year-old Ecuador international only made his top-flight debut in that 2-1 win away at Arsenal a couple of weeks ago – a performance Brighton defender Adam Webster labelled ‘incredible’ – but if his rapid rate of progress is anything to go by, Seagulls supporters can probably afford to look ahead to the post-Bissouma era with a renewed sense of optimism.
“(Caicedo is) the real deal. He’s already much more than promise, he’s a reality,” South American football expert Vickery explained to talkSPORT after Brighton secured his signature in January 2021.
“A box-to-box midfielder who makes football look easy. A year ago, he was saying Kante was his role model.
“He’s already more than that. He already offers more in the final third (than Kante). Strong, quick, intelligent, cool; he really does look like the genuine article.”
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Everton submitted a £5 million bid for Caicedo some 16 months ago, before Brighton snapped up the then-teenage midfielder for a near identical fee.
Then again, given how so many of Everton’s other signings have performed at Goodison Park, there’s no guarantee that Caicedo remarkable progress at the Amex would have been replicated on Merseyside.
Nonetheless, if Everton are to put a disastrous campaign behind them, come back better and stronger, then Brighton are an excellent example to follow.