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Brighton’s dressing room is ‘sticking with’ Moises Caicedo despite the midfielder BEGGING to leave for Arsenal in January, reveals captain Lewis Dunk… with Gunners falling short with £70m bid
Brighton’s squad will ‘stick with’ Moises Caicedo despite the Ecuadorian begging to leave the club for Arsenal in January, reveals captain Lewis Dunk.
Arsenal showed strong interest in Caicedo and had two offers rejected for him, the second of which was worth £70million.
Caicedo pushed for a move, going public with his pleas on social media, but Brighton stood firm and now Dunk believes it is incumbent on his team-mates to help alleviate the ‘difficult situation’.
‘Obviously it was a difficult situation for him and these things happen in football,’ Dunk told talkSPORT.
‘It’s not the first and won’t be the last time players at a football club have this going on over their head.’
Moises Caicedo was forced to stay at Brighton in January after Arsenal’s bids were rejected
The 21-year-old expressed his desire to leave Brighton in a social media post during January
Caicedo, described as a ‘great lad’ by Dunk, was banned from first team training as a result of his antics on social media.
He was left out of the Seagulls’ FA Cup win over Liverpool on January 30 but was reintroduced to the group for the 1-0 win over Bournemouth, where he came on off the bench.
‘He’s a young boy and we stick with him,’ Dunk added. ‘He’s a great lad and obviously a fantastic player. Who knows how long we’ll have him for and we’re grateful to have him for at least the rest of the season and hopefully for longer.
‘I think it’s a massive statement from the club, standing their ground.
‘Obviously we’ve sold players over the years to bigger clubs but I think it’s a great statement to show that we want to keep him and I think rightly so.’
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has insisted there is no issue moving forward with Caicedo but it has played out messy since the window closed.
Captain Lewis Dunk (left) called Caicedo (right) a ‘great lad’ and the squad is behind him
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom refused to allow Caicedo to sign for Arsenal in January
The midfielder’s agent hit out at Brighton for denying his ‘dream’ move to Arsenal.
Having failed to sign Caicedo, Arsenal instead brought in Jorginho from Chelsea.
Manuel Sierra, Caicedo’s agent, criticised Brighton for not allowing the move to go ahead and stated ‘this is an opportunity that may not be repeated in life.’
Sierra told Marca90Ec, via Olé: ‘The offers were received, you see what is on the table and Moises says that he wants to go forward, that it is the dream of his whole life. That it is an opportunity that may not be repeated in life.’
All this came after Caicedo stunned team-mates by publicly begging to be allowed to leave and join former Brighton running mate Leandro Trossard at the Emirates Stadium.
Caicedo’s post read: ‘I am grateful to Mr Bloom and Brighton for giving me the chance to come to the Premier League and I feel I have always done my best for them. I always play football with a smile and with heart.
Caicedo’s agent criticised Brighton for blocking the midfielder’s dream move to Arsenal
‘I am the youngest of 10 siblings form a poor upbringing in Santa Domingo in Ecuador. My dream always to be the most decorated player in the history of Ecuador.
‘I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful.
‘The fans have taken me into their hearts and they will always be in my heart so I hope they can understand why I want to take up this magnificent opportunity.’
Brighton are next in action away to Crystal Palace this weekend with Caicedo pushing for his first start since the drama of January played out.