Arsenal and Chelsea handed first World Cup scouting mission for midfielder in Qatar vs Ecuador

Arsenal and Chelsea could look to land a star from the World Cup this winter, starting with a scouting mission in the very first clash of the tournament

The World Cup is finally upon us after over four years of anticipation, with every country looking to stake a claim in this year’s competition. There are plenty of things that make this one unique though as the timing makes it the first ever winter tournament, breaking away from the usual summer format.

That has created challenges when it comes to Europe as a mid-season break in the calendar has had to be factored in and that could impact the winner of the World Cup as much as the domestic leagues. For Arsenal, it will see them return from the month-long break as league leaders.

With January closer in the schedule than normal, they could be handed an advantage in being able to make signings earlier and into the team compared to a regular season. Mikel Arteta has already hinted that his squad is light in numbers and claimed that plans for January have to change with their unexpected rise.

That could see the Spaniard and his scouting crew turn to the World Cup as a reference point for matches on the biggest stage of them all. In terms of areas where depth is needed, both the midfield and the flanks are particular concerns that could be addressed in the window.

As for Chelsea, they too could be looking towards the World Cup for a similar player, with their midfield needing a rebuild due to a number of key players reaching the end of their peak as well as their contract. New boss Graham Potter is set to be backed and could look to poach a former player.

Both sides may not have to look too far to find their first scouting mission in the tournament though, including one particular gem for their nation’s hopes. That could come in the first match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador in Group A, with the away side having a name familiar to those who watch the Premier League.

They have Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, a 21-year-old who continues to impress at such a young age for the Seagulls and could continue that form in the tournament. The youngster’s ability hasn’t gone unnoticed as the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been linked with a move.

The Gunners have a reputation and philosophy built around signing young players and developing them into superstars, something that has seen them rise to the top.

New Blues owners Boehly-Clearlake are looking to implement a similar approach, with Caicedo able to be another step in achieving that, meaning the two London clubs could end up involved in a bidding war to secure his services.