Chelsea went through a rough spell in the Premier League before the break for the World Cup, failing to win a match since the middle of October and Graham Potter already finds himself under pressure such is the nature of the role.
The 47-year-old will be using the break to assess exactly where he needs to strengthen during the January transfer window, and there might be a player who has stood out for him already in Qatar.
Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo was linked with a move to Chelsea over the summer and despite the south coast side slapping a £100m price tag on the 21-year-old, it’s a move Potter should be seriously looking into.
Caicedo impressed in Ecuador’s opening World Cup match against Qatar where he had 54 touches of the ball.
Throughout that encounter, he was incredibly composed in possession of the ball with a 92% pass success rate, while he was superb defensively, winning 67% of his duels, and making two interceptions as they secured a comfortable 2-0 victory on the opening night.
The Ecuadorian has been compared previously to French midfielder, N’Golo Kante, and thus he could be Chelsea’s new version of the combative World Cup winner.
Indeed, their playing styles are extremely similar, with South American football expert Tim Vickery lavishing praise on him last year while speaking to talkSPORT: “He is a terrific athlete who makes football look easy. A box-to-box midfielder.
“A year ago he was saying that Kante of Chelsea is his role model but he is already more than that. He already offers more in the final third.
“That kind of box-to-box midfielder that’s very much in the tradition of the England game. Strong, quick, intelligent, and cool. He really does look like the genuine article.”
in just eight appearances under Potter for Brighton last season, he achieved a WhoScored rating of 7.07, ranking him first in the squad. He won two tackles and made 1.3 interceptions per game, while also contributing going forward, taking 1.3 shots, and completing 0.9 dribbles per game, certainly justifying the comparisons to the Frenchman.
Ecuadorian football historian Enrico Castro-Montes also lauded Caicedo 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.”
With Kante out of contract next year, Potter might be aiming to secure a move for Caicedo sooner rather than later, especially if he continues to impress for his country at the World Cup.