Moises Caicedo, a Chelsea midfielder, was a Blues fan even as a child in Ecuador, thanks in part to his admiration for two midfielders who had a significant influence on his playing.
Caicedo was inspired by Claude Makelele, a Frenchman who spent five years at Stamford Bridge from 2003 to 2008 and was instrumental in the club’s back-to-back Premier League triumphs in 2005 and 2006.
Several years later, Caicedo asked a friend for an N’Golo Kante shirt for his 18th birthday and was presented with an Independiente del Valle jersey bearing the 2018 World Cup winner’s name.
Caicedo started out at Independiente del Valle in Ecuador’s Serie A and had made his first-team debut short before turning 18 in 2019. Less than 18 months later, he was at Brighton.
To say that his rise from unknown talent to the most expensive player in British football history has been rapid is an understatement.
“Makelele and Kante were an inspiration to me,” Caicedo said in his first interview with Chelsea’s official website. “They were so humble on the pitch. I think I can say we share similar qualities, but they were better. Now I am going to give everything for this club because they did so much for me.
“When I was a kid, I supported Chelsea and used to watch the games,” he added.
“Now it is amazing to be here. It is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I can’t wait to start with the guys, to give my best and to write my own story.”
Chelsea commemorated Caicedo’s arrival by publishing an image of him wearing the club’s 2019/20 home shirt back home in Ecuador with his mother, touchingly replicating the scene in 2023.
It reacts to the newest Chelsea news, such as Moises Caicedo’s record transfer and Romeo Lavia’s decision to join the Blues over Liverpool.