Atlanta United makes their second move this year with plans to acquire 19-year old Ecuadorian midfielder, Moises Caicedo.
Despite his young age, Caicedo has shocked the world with his incredible talent and remarkable skills. The Five Stripes has been trying to acquire him since the club joined the MLS in 2017 when Caicedo was 15! If that is not enough to convince fans what kind of talent he is, Caicedo was also linked with England giants Manchester United, Chelsea, and Everton. Caicedo is an exceptional player, but what makes him so unique and a hot target?
Caicedo made his professional debut at the age of 17 for Independiente del Valle in the Ecuadorian league. He has made six goals and two assists in 31 games for the club so far. While the statistics may not look like anything out of the ordinary, Caicedo was crucial in helping Independiente del Valle create history. His contributions to the U-20 squad propelled them to win the U-20 Copa Libertadores, the first time in Independiente’s history. They beat South American giants, River Plate and Flamengo, on their way to winning the trophy.
Caicedo’s club achievements may not look like much at the moment; however, his contributions on the international level have caught the attention of clubs around the world. For Ecuador, he scored in a win versus Uruguay in 2019, making him the first player born in the third millennium to score in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifier. In the November qualifiers, he provided two assists in a win versus Bolivia and another in a 6-1 win versus Colombia. Ecuador is third behind Brazil and Argentina, a remarkable feat that may not have been possible without Caicedo’s contributions.
So, what makes this kid such a marvel? Caicedo’s natural position is a central midfielder, preferably a deeper role as a holding midfielder or a number 6. Even at a young age, Caicedo has been dubbed the “next N’Golo Kante,” a huge compliment since Kante is a two-time Premier League Champion as well as a World Cup winner. In fact, Caicedo mentioned that N’Golo Kante is his role model
Caicedo’s tackling ability and defensive work are indeed remarkable. However, there is tremendous potential for the young star because of his skill set and physical attributes. Not only is he a great defender, but scouts have mentioned that his most potent skill is his ability to turn defense into an attack. He is a terrific box-to-box midfielder, and when he wins the ball in a tackle, he looks to turn that quickly into an attack. At 5’10, Caicedo is very mobile and does an impressive job in keeping his balance and making explosive runs down the middle of the pitch. He offers a lot for a team and has the confidence and the ability to take long-distance shots as well as pick out a pass from long-range.
With recent reports about Manchester United’s decision to pull out of the race for Caicedo, Atlanta United find themselves in a good position to sign the young star. Manchester United does not see Caicedo as a priority target, but Atlanta United definitely should. He may be young and still has a lot to prove, but natural talent like his is hard to find.
A move to Atlanta United would provide a great step in his career. There hasn’t been a final decision made yet, but hopefully, the Five Stripes lands him. The way he plays and the passion he has for the game, he would make him a great addition to the team.