Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal remain keen on £90m “monster”; he’d be Rice’s perfect partner

Arsenal remain firmly in the race to bring a key component of one of the Premier League’s feel-good stories of the season to the Emirates.

What’s the latest on Moises Caicedo to Arsenal?

That’s according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, who offered an update on the Moises Caicedo saga on his YouTube channel. The Gunners were once again name-checked, thus reinforcing their continued efforts to tempt the Ecuador international to north London.

The Italian claimed: “Brighton hope for a bidding war for Caicedo; so they hope that other clubs like Arsenal, who really wanted him in January, but also Manchester United, can jump into the race.

“The Caicedo situation remains open.”

The £90m price tag that Brighton and Hove Albion have reportedly slapped on him remains.

Would Moises Caicedo improve Arsenal?

Given their shared interest in Declan Rice too, all signs do seem to be pointing towards a remarkable double swoop to revolutionise Mikel Arteta’s engine room.

Should Arsenal pull this off, the combination they would surely strike up would them even stronger title challengers for next term, boasting two of the division’s top central midfielders and backed up by the experienced Thomas Partey.

Also, not only are both enjoying rich veins of form, but their attributes complement one another perfectly. Young and full of defensive steel, their creativity still manages to shine through despite the varied respective levels of their teams.

For example, for a side that has just secured their spot in the Europa League for next campaign, Caicedo has had his 7.09 average rating maintained through 1.2 key passes, 1.5 interceptions and 2.8 tackles per game, via Sofascore. However, at 5 foot 10, he is hardly the most imposing star, even though performance analyst and sports scientist Dr Rajpal Brar suggests he is still a “monster”.

Therefore, one would probably say that his perfect partner would need to act as more of a hulking dictator, enforcing their will on the game by quietly breaking up play and keeping the tempo ticking. That way, the 21-year-old can be free to be his usual workmanlike self.

This arguably describes Rice perfectly, who stands at 6 foot 1 and has adorned such a role in east London for many years now. However, just this season he has started to add creativity from deep that is making him the perfect all-around midfield general.

His 7.20 rating makes him comfortably the best performer at his club, and his six goal contributions are supplemented by an 88% pass accuracy and 2.2 tackles per game, via Sofascore.

Having both enjoyed standout years down south, a relocation to north London could see them immediately strike up one of the league’s best midfield pairings. Their physicalities complement one another, and their attributes are perfectly aligned to make them both a creative force and an unstoppable defensive unit. Manchester City should be fearful if these moves come to fruition.

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