Chelsea have completed the signing of Ecuadorian midfielder Moisés Caicedo from Brighton in a deal worth £115 million, breaking the British transfer record.
The 20-year-old has signed an eight-year contract with the Blues, with the option of a further year.
Caicedo is a highly rated midfielder who has been capped 13 times by Ecuador. He made his name at Independiente del Valle in his native country, before moving to Brighton in 2021.
On completing his move to Chelsea, Caicedo said: ‘I am so happy to join Chelsea! I am so excited to be here at this big club and I didn’t have to think twice when Chelsea called me, I just knew I wanted to sign for the club. It’s a dream come true to be here and I can’t wait to get started with the team.’
Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: ‘Moises has proved himself as a standout player in European football over the past 18 months, and we are thrilled to add him to Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.
‘Moises possesses a rare midfield skill set and is a player we’ve been targeting for some time. We believe he will make a significant impact at Stamford Bridge this season – and in the years ahead.’
Caicedo’s journey to Chelsea started in the Ecuadorian city of Santo Domingo. By the age of 13, he was playing for a regional select XI and was in the youth ranks of CD Espoli. He joined Independiente del Valle two years later.
His talent was evident to all at the club and Caicedo made his senior debut at the age of 17. He established himself in the first-team squad during the 2020 campaign but also continued to represent the club in the U-20 Copa Libertadores.
Caicedo played a key role in helping Independiente reach the final of the competition, where they faced off against River Plate, for whom Enzo Fernandez was in midfield. It was the Ecuadorian side that came away victorious.
In February 2021, Caicedo left South America and completed a move to Brighton. He didn’t make his debut until the following season – an outing against Cardiff City in the EFL Cup – and then left on loan for Belgian club Beerschot.
Caicedo spent the first half of the 2021/22 campaign in Belgium and made 14 appearances for Beerschot before being recalled by Brighton. On his return, Caicedo became a key part of the side.
Last season, Caicedo made 43 appearances for the Seagulls, who recorded their best-ever Premier League finish of sixth. Caicedo was crucial to that success and was named the club’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season.