Roberto De Zerbi has called for Brighton supporters to back after his failed attempt to join Arsenal in the January transfer window.
The Premier League leaders had made Caicedo one of their top targets last month but Brighton rejected multiple offers for the midfielder and were adamant that the Ecuador international would not be sold.
Caicedo tried to force Brighton’s hand by publicly declaring his desire to leave, however, Arsenal were unable to reach an agreement and the 21-year-old is staying put for now.
Caicedo returned to training this week and ahead of Brighton’s clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, De Zerbi insists the midfielder should not be criticised for his push to join Arsenal.
‘I was always honest and clear with you and I want to also be this time honest and clear,’ De Zerbi said on Friday.
‘I am very happy Moises stays with us until the end of the season.
‘I want to speak to our fans because I want them to support him. I don’t want them to criticise him. I love Moises, the people who work inside of Brighton love Moises, he’s a good guy.
‘I don’t know if he made a mistake or not but the transfer market is closed and the fans must follow me because I take responsibility for him. And if I say something so clear about Moises, they have to believe in me.’
Asked if he believes Caicedo will leave Brighton in the summer, De Zerbi said: ‘I don’t know.
‘I want to be responsible about him because I believe in Moises. I don’t know the situation in the future but he’s a good guy and I want to defend him now.
‘In other times I spoke a different way for the other players but for Moises it’s different.
‘We need the performance of Moises and he’s a fantastic guy and so I don’t want to hear criticism or anything more.’
, ., and .
January transfer window - FAQs
Read the latest transfer news and rumours on .