Moises Caicedo is preparing to face his former club Brighton for the first time in the Premier League, and ahead of the game Mauricio Pochettino has been discussing the midfielder’s adaptation to life at Chelsea.
Caicedo signed from the Seagulls in August following a protracted transfer saga. Liverpool were reportedly interested, but Caicedo chose Chelsea because of his support for the club and his excitement at the project being built.
Now 14 appearances into his Blues career, Caicedo has shown glimpses of his best. While Pochettino knows there is much more to come, he has warned against expecting too much, too soon.
‘Moi arrived when we were already playing Premier League games, with no pre-season, and the emotional situation that happened with him,’ said Pochettino.
‘We knew what was going to happen. He’s an emotional person who needs time to recover from that. If you want to express your talent, you need to be right here feeling your best.
‘The process is to play, to train, to be together. The international games haven’t helped, travelling to South America every month. He has had 25, 30 days with us, then 10, 12 days away, then comes back some small injuries. That didn’t help. It’s not an excuse, but it’s the reality.’
Pochettino hopes a clear run at Cobham in the coming weeks and months will accelerate Caicedo’s assimilation. He also acknowledged the 22-year-old has joined a team finding its feet rather than one accustomed to each and to winning.
‘We need time. Of course, my mentality is that we need to perform, but in his situation, we need to give him time and not be unfair in the way we assess him.
‘His position in the spine of the team is very important. We need him to start performing like we expect, but at the same time, we need to understand he is building towards his best moment.
‘It’s tough for him, but it’s tough for everyone. The expectation is different, the badge is different, the context is different. It’s about time to fit in and to start to perform. That is why we have no doubt it is only time.’