The Blues beat Liverpool to Caicedo’s signature in the summer after outbidding their rivals, taking the overall price to £115m and breaking their own British record amount – the £107m paid for Enzo Fernandez in January – to complete the deal.
“When we signed him, we knew what is going to happen. He’s an emotional guy, an emotional player that needs time to recover,” Pochettino explained.
“It also didn’t help [because of] the international games, travelling to Ecuador, to South America. That is really tough every single month, two or three weeks, go ten or 12 days away, then come back sometimes with an injury. It’s not an excuse but it’s the reality. In some situations like his, we need to give time and not to be unfair in the way that we assess him.”
Pochettino appears to have taken Caicedo under his wing, also revealing a 20-minute private chat during the week: “It is easy because we speak Spanish. It is a subconscious process and that is a problem, only in time can you adapt. We had no pre-season with him. We talk about footballers; it is physical and mental, and there is the talent. If you want to express your talent, you need to be clear in your mind and be good in your legs. Otherwise, it is not possible to move.”