West Ham United have identified Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo as a potential replacement for Declan Rice, according to a new report.
The Lowdown: Rice’s future
While Rice is contracted until the summer of 2024, with West Ham also possessing an option to extend his deal by an extra year, his future at the London Stadium is looking uncertain amid interest from a whole host of other Premier League clubs.
In the summer, the Englishman rejected an eight-year-deal totalling £83m, while he recently spoke of his desire to win trophies and compete in the Champions League, which does not seem likely to happen with the Hammers at this moment in time.
As such, David Moyes and the recruitment team have started to identify suitable long-term replacements, and Caicedo is now emerging as a potential signing if Rice decides to leave the club in the near future.
The Latest: Caicedo considered
According to the Daily Mail, Brighton are now reaching a point where they realise they might have to sell the Ecuadorian, in light of his fantastic performances for both club and country.
The Seagulls have placed a price tag of £60m on the central-midfielder, a figure that is deemed unlikely to deter other potential suitors Newcastle United, while West Ham are also named as an interested party, with the aim of securing themselves a long-term replacement for Rice.
The Verdict: Get it done?
No West Ham fan wants to see the Englishman exit the London Stadium, but if he must do so, then Caicedo would be the next best thing, given his level of ability at such a young age.
The 21-year-old is a staple in the Brighton midfield, making 14 appearances so far this season, and he has also already got 27 international caps to his name, having recently competed at the World Cup.
The ‘terrific athlete’, as lauded by South American football expert Tim Vickery, has some improvement to make with his pass completion, having averaged a rate of 85.5% over the past year, a little shy of the 90.2% figure attained by Rice, but he is showing some very promising signs in a defensive sense.
An average of 2.79 tackles and 1.61 blocks per 90 in the same timeframe places him in the 84th and 83rd percentile respectively, highlighting that he would be more than suited to taking on the defensive responsibilities in this West Ham team.
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