The Brighton midfielder grew up idolising Kante, who is set to leave Chelsea this summer for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.
A destructive player is what Chelsea’s midfield is crying out for, but Caicedo offers much more than that. The 21-year-old’s other idol growing up was Paul Pogba and, just like with Kante, Caicedo would study his game by watching clips.
He was drawn to Pogba’s ability on the ball and his creativity. It is an element Caicedo is improving and he was seventh in the League for total passes last season.
The Ecuadorian views himself as an “intelligent” player, having the knowledge of when to attack and when to defend. It is what makes him so versatile and towards the back end of last season he even filled in at right-back for Brighton.
Arsenal, like Chelsea, are also interested in Caicedo and it is his versatility that makes him so attractive.
Manager Mikel Arteta is targeting players who can play in multiple positions and there is a belief Caicedo could play at the base of midfield or further forward as one of Arsenal’s two No8s.
Such an outlay, however, could set Arsenal back close to £200million and significant sales would have to be funded to pull it off, not least because the squad has other areas it needs strengthening too.
Brighton rejected two bids from Arsenal in January for Caicedo, with the second of those offers worth in the region of £70m.
Since then, the 21-year-old has signed a new contract with the Seagulls and he will certainly cost north of £70m this summer.
Brighton are in a strong position given Arsenal and Chelsea’s interest, while Liverpool and Manchester United are also thought to be keeping tabs on the situation.
All of them are aware of Caicedo’s potential and the impact he can have on their midfields. Manchester City led the way again last season and a key part in catching them will be competing with them physically.
Caicedo can help with that. He is exceptionally dynamic and offers a level of athleticism that has left Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi constantly singing his praises.
“Caicedo is a top player with and without the ball,” he said. “There are many players in the world who are very good with the ball but without it in defensive spaces are not so good.
“Others in the defensive space are top but with the ball, there are some problems.
“With Caicedo, I don’t see anything not at the top level. And he is only 20, he is very young, so he can learn and improve more. He has no limit.”
The question is - do Arsenal, Chelsea or anyone else have a limit of what they are willing to play for one of the Premier League’s brightest young stars?