Why Leeds United should steer clear of Felipe Caicedo
The former Argentina and Chile manager took over the reins at the club last week after prolonged discussions and has already kicked off the recruitment by signing promising midfielder Lewis Baker on a season-long loan from Premier League outfit Chelsea. And now he wants to strengthen his side’s attacking ranks with the addition of the 29-year-old Caicedo.
It is no secret that Leeds suffered last season owing to their failure to replace star striker Chris Wood after he left for Premier League outfit Burnley last summer.
The Whites brought in the likes of Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Ray Grot and Pierre Michel Lasogga (on loan) but none of them was able to fill the giant hole left behind by Wood’s departure, which was one of the major reasons why they finished 13th in the EFL Championship.
Without a doubt, it is one area that will need serious reinforcing over the summer, if Bielsa is to take them to a playoff spot finish in the coming season. But, is Caicedo the man they should be looking to sign?
The 29-year-old forward who came through Rocafuerte FC in his homeland, Ecuador, has spent time in England with Manchester City, having joined the club in January 2008 from Swiss club Basel.
Caicedo was never able to establish himself with the Cityzens though and spent a lot of time away on loan with Sporting CP, Malaga and Levante, before joining the latter on a permanent deal in 2011. He made 35 appearances for City, scoring 7 goals.
After joining Levante, Caicedo was immediately sold to Lokomotiv Moscow, where he spent three years before joining Al Jazira in January 2014.
However, he returned to Spain with Espanyol only six months later, where he went on to make 103 appearances, scoring 22 goals over a spell of three seasons, before joining Lazio last summer.
The former Manchester City man did not have the best of the debut seasons in Italy though, as he managed just 6 goals and 3 assists in 33 appearances across all competitions, although his performances in the UEFA Europa League were a source of positivity.
Caicedo has an impressive record on the international stages with Ecuador, having scored 22 times in 66 appearances for his nation.
The 29-year-old would be suited to the rough and tumble of the EFL Championship, considering his physical stature and the strength he possesses.
A great threat in the air, Caicedo also possesses a decent turn of pace and likes to play on the shoulders of the last man, something that could come in handy for Leeds heading into the new season.
However, the fact that Caicedo has managed just 5 league goals in the last two seasons with Espanyol and Lazio combined is something that should act as a deterrent for the Whites to make a move for the burly striker.
Given that he still has two years left on his contract with the Italians, they will demand a good chunk of money for the transfer to go through as well.
Leeds should be looking elsewhere and not a player who has previously failed to make a mark in England and hasn’t been able to hit double figures in the league since the 2010/11 season.