Interviews

De Zerbi: Let's get behind Caicedo

Head coach asks Albion fans to support Caicedo at the Amex today.

By Bruce Talbot • 04 February 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi's team head into Saturday's game against Bournemouth on the back of an unbeaten January.

Roberto De Zerbi wants Albion fans to follow him and the players and show support for Moises Caicedo at the Amex today.

The head coach confirmed that Caicedo, who returned to training on Wednesday, is available for selection for the visit of AFC Bournemouth.

Caicedo was the subject of intense interest during the transfer window but De Zerbi says he spoke to him ‘like a brother’ on Friday and that his team-mates are delighted to have him back in the squad after he was left out of the 2-1 win over Liverpool last Sunday.

“I’m very happy that Moises will stay with us until the end of the season and I want to speak to our fans because I want them to support him and not criticise him,” said De Zerbi.

04:19

MA+ members & STH only - Log-in required

An existing MyAlbion+ membership or season ticket is needed to view this content. Please note that new memberships take 24 hours to be active to view, registering today for Luton Town match streaming will not be valid in time.

Moder: We are hungry for more European football

“I don’t know if he made a mistake or not but the transfer market is closed. I am the coach and I take the responsibility for him [Moises] and I think the fans must follow me and believe in me. 

“The players and people who work inside the club love and respect Moises because he is a good guy. I think they understood the situation because they live inside football and they know these situations can happen but it is not a problem for the other players.”

Albion fans could get their first look at another South American against Bournemouth after De Zerbi confirmed that Facundo Buonanotte will be in the squad for the first time. The 18-year-old midfielder hurt his neck playing for Argentina in the Under-20 equivalent of the Copa Liberatores earlier this month but is fully fit and has been working with the rest of the squad this week.

By Paul Hazlewood
Moises Caicedo joined back in with first team training on Wednesday.

“I like him as a player because he can play inside the pitch or in [Solly] March’s position,” added De Zerbi. “In March’s position there aren’t many other players who can play there, it’s very important for us to have another player who can.”

De Zerbi also said that Lamptey will continue at right-back after an impressive performance against Liverpool. Asked about the Ghana international, he added: “Tariq is  improving, he’s making progress and is an important player for us. In the right back position I can put Lamptey, [Joel] Veltman or Pascal Gross depending on the game and the strategy of the opponent.”

Bournemouth have only picked up one point and scored one goal since the resumption after the World Cup but De Zerbi says his team will have to be at their best. 

“To win we have to play a perfect game,” he said. “Liverpool is a great and stronger team than Bournemouth but the game is [going to be] difficult.”