Date: 11th January 2021 at 8:30pm
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Newcastle look to have been gazumped in a transfer battle by Brighton and Hove Albion. 

What’s the story?

According to Duncan Castles, the Magpies made a push to sign of Independiente del Valle but their Premier League rivals look set to sign the midfielder instead.

Previously, Manchester had been linked with the 19-year-old who is seemingly likely to move on to Union Saint-Gilloise in the Belgian second division should he join the Seagulls.

Who is he?

Caicedo is already an Ecuadorian international and a player South American football expert Tim Vickery told Sky Sports ‘makes football look easy.’

Chelsea star N’Golo Kante is thought to be his idol but Vickey claims he ‘already offers more in the final third’, singing his praises as a ‘box-to-box midfielder.’

Where would he have fit in?

Though it’s unlikely he’d have stepped right into the Newcastle first-team, that kind of midfielder has been desperately missed at St. James’ Park.

Indeed, their current crop of options there haven’t offered much in the way of attack, with only Jeff Hendrick, Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron scoring from positions in the middle of the park this even if the latter two are often played wider.

Indeed, no orthodox central midfielder has offered more than dribble per game this season (via WhoScored) and the lack of drive from that part of the pitch has been something lamented by the likes of Chris Waugh.

The Verdict

To potentially be beaten to the punch by Brighton, with all due respect, is fairly gutting.

While they have proven to be one of the most upwardly mobile outfits in English football in recent years, it’s not as if they are pulling up any trees in the Premier League, so to lose out against a rival towards the bottom of the table has to be considered a blow.