The two Ecuadorians could soon be playing together (Pictures: Getty / La Cancha Con Majo)
The 16-year-old Ecuadorian will move to Stamford Bridge in May 2025 after Chelsea agreed a £17.5million fee with Independiente del Valle – though the transfer cannot go through until Paez turns 18 in just under two years’ time.
He is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in South American football and has already played four times for the Under-20 national team, with a call-up to the senior squad not far away.
Brighton midfielder Caicedo, who is the subject of interest from Chelsea, has already made his mark in the Premier League after leaving Ecuador and is convinced his compatriot can make the grade too.
Asked if he has watched any of Paez, and how highly he rates the Chelsea youngster, Caicedo told La Cancha Con Majo: ‘He’s a crack!
‘The truth is there are times where I watch Independiente games, it’s good to see those talents in Ecuador because we know we have very good youth.
‘I’m very happy for him, for everything that he’s doing.
Caicedo has been keeping a close eye on Kendry Paez (Picture: Getty)
‘All I can tell him is keep on the right track, doing things really well, and he’s going to go really far because the talent he has is incredible.’
Speaking about his looming move to Chelsea, Paez himself told ESPN SportsCenter: ‘I don’t feel pressure, I am focused on Independiente, on the Libertadores and trying to continue playing in the best way.
‘To get there I have to keep working, be focused on learning. It will be something special to share things with players like Enzo Fernandez, with other special ones.
‘It’s wonderful, but now I’m focused on Independiente del Valle. There are two years to go, I know it goes by quickly and I’ll keep doing my thing here.
‘I’m Kendry, I’m going to give the name to Ecuador. I’m going to continue being me, I don’t want to be compared to Messi. He’s very special, he’s the best. I’m 16-years-old, they cannot compare me with him, because I’m in a process.
‘I have things to improve and gain a lot of experience. Later, with time, perhaps with what I win, maybe with Kendry Paez, the Ecuadorian. It’s me and no one else.’
Caicedo, meanwhile, has opened the door to a move to west London, saying it would be impossible to turn down a move to Stamford Bridge, and the two Ecuadorians could line up together in the not-so-distant future.
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The two players could soon be in the same team at Stamford Bridge.