Moises Caicedo is given a hero’s welcome by Brighton fans despite Arsenal’s transfer bid before Kaoru Mitoma scores another game-winning goal
Brighton fans welcomed Moises Caicedo as a hero in his first game after trying to force a move to Arsenal.
The midfielder was desperate to leave the south coast club in January and even posted an open letter asking for an exit.
Arsenal have made two offers for the Ecuadorian international, the latest coming in at £70m, but Brighton have stuck to their guns and adamantly refused to sell.
The Seagulls even told the 21-year-old not to show up for training as they were looking to resolve the situation.
And Brighton fans were in a forgiving mood as Caicedo took to the pitch in their 1-0 win over Brentford at the Amex Stadium after being named on the bench.
In the second half, Roberto De Zerbi introduced the runaway star just before the hour mark for Billy Gilmour and the home fans gave him a very warm welcome.
After such a public transfer saga, it was definitely time for Caicedo, who could nevertheless leave in the summer transfer window with Arsenal still interested.
Nonetheless, it was a huge success for Brighton to beat one of the big boys for one of their star players, having lost the likes of Ben White, Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard in recent years.
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And that has done little to stifle their electric form this season, where they are the Premier League’s fourth top scorers this campaign – the latest coming from their gem Kaoru Mitoma.
The Japan international was on the scoresheet again as he nodded against Bournemouth on Saturday to earn all three points in a 1-0 win.
It’s the 25-year-old’s sixth Premier League goal in his last seven appearances, while he also netted a fine winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend.
It continues Brighton’s magical season where they stand with a chance of finishing in a European place.
They are currently just a point behind sixth-placed Brentford, who are having an incredible campaign themselves.
They have won huge scalps such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal this year and the arrival of De Zerbi as manager to replace Graham Potter seems to have boosted them even further.
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