Moises Caicedo would benefit from a roaming role at Chelsea – Talk Chelsea

Last week I was handing flowers to Moises Caicedo in a praise article for how I believe he is starting to really settle and prove his worth in this team in a sort of unsung role. This week I am moving one step on from the praise and pondering the making of him even more.

Caicedo has been doing the dog work if you like, in that deepest centre midfield role. But watching him play for Ecuador at the weekend, despite them losing, had me thinking about something that I know many of you have mentioned on here before and begs the questions, should Chelsea be looking to free up Caicedo more?

Ecuador largely play in a 3-4-3 formation, meaning Caicedo is one of two centre midfielders and is free to roam a lot more.

As I mentioned in my article last week, Caicedo is actually pretty useful in attack. He gets compared to N’Golo Kante a lot, but the reality is he is actually a better attacking player overall than Kante was. I saw Kante get a bit dizzy when too far forward at times, playing almost like a right winger sometimes. But Caicedo I actually think is more useful in attack and can be a real asset there. He can shoot, pass, dribble, and be a decent option in attack for Chelsea.

But right now, he is tasked to be our holding midfielder, which is also a role he is and can do well. But is it his best role? And does it bring the very best out of him? Or does a free roaming Caicedo see the best version of him?

I think these are all valid questions, and questions that have had some of you believing that Chelsea still need to add in a defensive midfielder to this squad, as in a pure defensive midfielder, someone like a Palhinha from Fulham, for example. I know Romeo Lavia plays as a DM, but is he a pure sitting midfield in terms of all round qualities and style? I’m not so sure. Lesley Ugochukwu could certainly become that, but he is very raw for now.

And to those who are saying Chelsea still need a combative DM, I don’t actually disagree.

I’m a real advocate of getting the very best out of our players, and perhaps to fully unlock Caicedo we need to let him roam more?

I know many don’t agree with this, and I did an article explaining my reasoning a couple weeks back, but this is just another reason why I would ‘convert’ Reece James into a defensive midfielder for Chelsea. I put convert in quotation marks because it wouldn’t really be converting, with James having played that role many times before. Obviously this would all depend on him staying fit, so would only work if he can stay fit.

But if (big if) everyone is fit, something like this for me… (the international break just brings formation ideas after formation ideas from me 😂)

This is a 4-4-2 variation but it will be fluid and positions will be interchangeable. I would hand free roles to Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku so they could both drop in and also move into the 9 position and allow Nicolas Jackson to roam out wide to the left, where he is most effective. Palmer centrally so he can dictate and effect the attack in the best possible way but also be free to go wide right on occasions too. Enzo Fernandez close to Reece James in build up play and playing out under a high press.

Ian Maatsen is in here purely because I just don’t overly rate either of Ben Chilwell or Marc Cucurella as a regular starting left back for us – we need to sign a new one.

There’s players that harshly miss out and will be knocking on the door, like Mykhailo Mudryk, Carney Chukwuemeka, and Romeo Lavia. But I just think in terms of a DM profile with physicality and all round ability, James is your man.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with this by the way, not at all. But I just think this is something that would see the best of the majority of those starting players, as long as it’s fluid and players have the freedom to roam and have good organisation to cover each other as well.

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