Brighton dressing room ‘staying with’ Moises Caicedo despite midfielder BEGATING to leave for Arsenal in January, captain Lewis Dunk reveals… with Gunners falling short with £70m bid
The Brighton side will ‘stay with’ Moises Caicedo despite the Ecuadorian’s plea to leave the club for Arsenal in January, captain Lewis Dunk has revealed.
Arsenal showed keen interest in Caicedo and had two offers for him rejected, the second of which was worth £70m.
Caicedo pushed for a move, going public with his pleas on social media, but Brighton have stood firm and Dunk now believes it is up to his team-mates to help ease the ‘difficult situation’.
“Obviously it was a difficult situation for him and these things happen in football,” Dunk said. talkSPORT.
“It’s not the first and it won’t be the last time players at a football club have had this over their heads.”
Moises Caicedo was forced to stay at Brighton in January after offers from Arsenal were rejected
The 21-year-old expressed his desire to leave Brighton in a social media post in January
Caicedo, described as a “big boy” by Dunk, has been banned from first-team training following his social media antics.
He was left out of the Seagulls’ FA Cup win over Liverpool on January 30, but was brought back into the squad for the 1-0 win over Bournemouth, where he came off the bench.
“He’s a young boy and we’re sticking with him,” Dunk added. “He’s a big lad and obviously a fantastic player. Who knows how long we’ll have him and we’re grateful to have him at least for the rest of the season and hopefully longer.
“I think it’s a massive statement from the club, who are holding their ground.
“Obviously we’ve sold players over the years to bigger clubs, but I think that’s a great statement to show we want to keep him and I think rightly so.”
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi insisted there was no problem moving forward with Caicedo but it has gone poorly since the window closed.
Captain Lewis Dunk (left) called Caicedo (right) a ‘big boy’ and the team is behind him
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom refused to allow Caicedo to sign for Arsenal in January
The midfielder’s agent has hit out at Brighton for denying his ‘dream’ move to Arsenal.
Having failed to sign Caicedo, Arsenal brought Jorginho from Chelsea instead.
Manuel Sierra, Caicedo’s agent, slammed Brighton for not allowing the move and said ‘this is an opportunity that may not be repeated in life’.
Sierra told Marca90Ec, via Ole: ‘The offers have been received, you see what is on the table and Moises says he wants to go ahead, that this is his life’s dream. That it is an opportunity that may not be repeated in life.
It all came after Caicedo stunned his team-mates by publicly begging to be allowed to leave and join former Brighton running mate Leandro Trossard at the Emirates Stadium.
Caicedo’s message read: “I am grateful to Mr Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them.” I always play football with a smile and with my heart.
Caicedo’s agent has slammed Brighton for blocking the midfielder’s dream move to Arsenal
‘I am the youngest of 10 siblings from a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo, Ecuador. My dream is still to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.
“I am proud to be able to bring a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest and help the club continue to be successful.
“The fans have taken me to their hearts and they will always be in my heart, so I hope they can understand why I want to take this wonderful opportunity.”
Brighton are next in action at Crystal Palace this weekend with Caicedo pushing for his first start since the January drama.