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Pochettino compares Caicedo to ZIDANE as he explains why Chelsea’s £115m transfer has struggled so much

MAURICIO POCHETTINO says the pressure on Moises Caicedo makes it tough for Chelsea’s record signing to live up to his billing.

But then mentioning the £115million midfielder in the same breath as Zinedine Zidane is not going to make life any easier.

Chelsea spent £115million on Moises Caicedo last summer

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Chelsea spent £115million on Moises Caicedo last summerCredit: Getty
Mauricio Pochettino has likened the star to Zinedine Zidane

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Mauricio Pochettino has likened the star to Zinedine ZidaneCredit: Getty
The French legend is one of the best of all time

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The French legend is one of the best of all timeCredit: AP:Associated Press

Head coach Pochettino compared Caicedo’s stuttering start at Stamford Bridge to the journey Zidane took after signing for Real Madrid for what was a world record £70m in 2001.

Zidane went on to become a Champions League winner with the Spanish giants and one of the most celebrated footballers of all time. Caicedo, 22, has a way to go yet.

Pochettino said: “Remember when Zidane or Kaka went to Real Madrid — they paid a big amount of money.

“Zidane was 26 or 27. I think it took seven or eight months for him to perform because expectation is massive and adaptation is difficult. The pressure is massive.

“Moises didn’t do a pre- season, he had some problems when he was travelling for international duty.

“It’s too many things that delayed the adaptation to the team.

“Then, all the circumstances delay a little bit to perform.

“But there is no doubt he has the profile to be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

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“We are living in a different era today.

“If you spend money like Bayern Munich did on Harry Kane — say £100m, after ten years being the top scorer in the Premier League, it’s impossible he would move to another league and not score.

“Now you want to sign a good player with the potential to be one of the best in their position. Sometimes in competition with another club we are seeing the same names and you need to spend money.”

Pochettino is referring to last summer’s tussle between Chelsea and Liverpool for Caicedo.

Brighton accepted a £111m bid from Liverpool for their star player before the heart ruled the wallet and the Ecuadorian joined the team he supported as a boy for an initial £100m.

He will at least see Liverpool’s famous ground tonight when the two teams meet.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is embarking on one long farewell party having announced his plan to step down at the end of the season.

But he can celebrate his 200th Premier League win with victory over Chelsea.

Former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino said: “It’s a special game for him.

“Until the end, it’s going to be special always.

“Every time they play at Anfield, it’s going to be a party, to celebrate, and to give him all the love they feel, the fans feel for him and I think it’s deserved.

“But we are thinking we need to go there and win the game.

“Sorry, but we don’t want to be involved or be part of the celebration.

“We want to perform well and win the game.

“He’s a coach, a person that I am going to miss. I love to watch him on the touchline and the team that he manages.

“I hope he’s only away a few months, maybe one year, and then comes back.”

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