Premier League clubs are already turning their attention to the January window. And this quintet is sure to be in the thinking of the big boys…
Brighton bought Caicedo with a view to replacing Yves Bissouma. Already, they might have to speed up their plan to replace the Ecuadorian after a blistering start to life in the Premier League.
Caicedo has made a huge impression in 14 top-flight appearances since making his debut against Arsenal in April. Since that 2-1 victory, the 20-year-old has scored a couple while covering every blade of grass for the Seagulls.
Manchester United have already seen what they could have won – twice. Caicedo scored against the Red Devils in May and ran the show at Old Trafford on the opening day. United were heavy favourites to sign him from Independiente del Valle but they decided not to bother after the situation around his representatives became a ‘clusterf*ck’.
At the time, many might have applauded Ed Woodward and co for refusing to cough up for multiple ‘agents’ as they crawled out of the woodwork. But Brighton managed to clear a path to a deal that now, at just £4.5million, looks a sodding steal.
Liverpool have already been told to try harder – a lot harder – than the £42.5million they plonked in front of Tony Bloom in the summer and, as the big clubs already know, the Brighton owner doesn’t budge for many people. If the Reds, or anyone else, want Caicedo, it’s likely to cost Cucurella money.
Poor Youri Tielemans – and poor Brendan, to a certain extent. It seems the Leicester boss was waiting for a bidding war for the Belgium midfielder so that he could spend the proceeds on some much-needed squad strengthening.
Arsenal spent a summer sniffing but never got around to making an offer, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea also looking elsewhere for midfielders, even late in the window when Tielemans could have been bought for less than £20million.
It’s hard to believe that at least one of those clubs won’t take a punt on Tielemans in January since he will be available for even less. Of course, they could wait until next summer, when he’ll cost f*** all. But, even if the Foxes continue in their current vein of form, there is likely to be a sizeable queue of clubs from across Europe looking to give the 25-year-old a new home.
The World Cup comes at the perfect time for Tielemans. Even if Leicester stink out the Premier League, the midfielder has the perfect shop window to tempt in most of the Big Six.
Arsenal were rather more decisive over Luiz. Just not decisive enough.
The Brazil midfielder is in a similar position to Tielemans as he runs down his contract at Aston Villa. The Villans remain hopeful of pinning Luiz down to new terms, but it seems almost certain that he will look to see if there is a better offer out there.
Arsenal’s wasn’t quite good enough on Deadline Day, when Villa rejected a bid of £25million, which highlights their optimism over a renewal. His performance on Saturday against Manchester City suggests it was a savvy move on the Villans’ part.
Of course, it would do Luiz no good to sulk over the breakdown of a move he reportedly fancied. The next transfer window is only ever a few months away and unless Villa offer silly money in the meantime, his and Arsenal’s bargaining positions will be even stronger.
There was also a buzz around Zaha just before the deadline, when half of the Big Six were said to be considering a move for the attacker.
Indeed, reports suggest Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal made enquires but all were put off by Crystal Palace’s asking price, which was apparently north of £30million.
The Eagles’ thinking is that Zaha can be convinced to commit once more to see out his peak years at Palace. But the 29-year-old has never hidden his ambition to play Champions League football. If any of the London giants retain their interest through to the winter, then the ground under Palace might not be as firm as it felt through the summer.
Zaha has sulked before when Palace haven’t allowed him to chase his dreams but he has presumably taken consolation on this occasion from the fact that his contract situation gives him the upper hand over his future. Even if Zaha turns 30 before the next window, his early-season form suggests there will be offers.
Like Brighton, Southampton reportedly had the chance to make a quick buck on a young midfielder. The Saints also opted to play the long game.
Lavia only moved to St Mary’s in the summer. When Chelsea made a £50million offer, the teenager’s Premier League career consisted of only five games, all for Saints after his £12million switch from Manchester City.
Chelsea were perhaps hoping to get in ahead of City since the champions retain a £40million buy-back clause on the 18-year-old. If Lavia continues with the form he has showed in his first five games, then Pep Guardiola might look to bring him back to the Etihad.
But the pathway to the City first team still looks as clogged as it did when Lavia jumped at the chance to join the Saints after Guardiola brought in Kalvin Phillips. Chelsea, though, still need a holding midfielder, even if Saints want at least a year out of the Belgian.