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Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi: Fans need to support Caicedo

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi has urged fans not to turn on wantaway midfielder Moises Caicedo.

The Seagulls rejected two bids from Arsenal for the Ecuador midfielder, 21, the second worth about £70m.

He told Brighton he wanted a move in an open letter but the club responded by telling him to stay away from training until after the transfer deadline.

"I want them [the fans] to support him," said De Zerbi.

"I don't want them to criticise him. I love Moises, the people who work inside Brighton love Moises, he's a good guy. I am very happy he stays with us until the end of the season."

Caicedo has made 30 appearances and scored two goals since joining Brighton in February 2021 from Independiente del Valle for £4m.

With the transfer window closed until the summer he is poised to return to De Zerbi's squad when they host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, having been left out of last weekend's FA Cup win against Liverpool.

"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," added the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss.

"If I say something so clear about Moises, they [the fans] have to believe in me. The other players love and respect him.

"They understood the situation, because everyone in football knows this situation can happen. If there isn't a problem with me, then there isn't a problem for anyone."

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