Chelsea looking at signing Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana.
The Lowdown: Injury-hit season
The 21-year-old has endured a mixed time in England.
After a brilliant debut season for the France U21 international, where he won Leicester City’s Young Player of the Year award, the Marseille-born colossus broke his leg before the start of this campaign.
The Latest: Chelsea Watching Closely
The £36m-rated centre-back returned from injury to play in the final months of the season, and that has revived the interest of several Premier League clubs, according to French publication RMC Sport.
Chelsea, alongside Manchester United, are said to be closely monitoring the youngster. The French outlet have also reported that Thomas Tuchel wants the 6 foot 3 defender to replace Antonio Rudiger, with the Blues are also looking at Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
The Foxes want at least €80m (£68.5m) to let Fofana go, knowing that the power is in their hands. The centre half signed a deal to extend his contract to 2027 this March, and the club has previously sold Harry Maguire for £80m in 2019.
The Verdict: Perfect Rudiger replacement
The Germany international was in Chelsea’s top five for tackles and interceptions, clearances, and blocks this campaign, while also in the top 10% for all Premier League centre backs in progressive passes, goal-creating actions, and carries.
The Blues then need a defender that can replicate the 29-year-old’s impact at both ends of the pitch, but Fofana looks like he could be that person.
Despite only playing seven leagues due to injury, the £51k-per-week colossus has still impressed. The Saint-Etienne Academy graduate has the sixth-highest WhoScored rating out of those with more than five appearances at the club, making him the highest-rated centre-back.
His performances coming back into the side have received praise from his manager Brendan Rodgers, who has hailed him a “phenomenal talent”.
“Any team would miss him,” he explained.
“He is an absolutely phenomenal talent, this young man. When you think that he had not eaten or drunk a thing because of Ramadan, he is a star in the making. The raw talent, the anticipation for a defender. He is going to be an absolute elite player.
“You have to be honest and open enough to admit that you are going to miss someone of that ability. Of course, that is going to hinder performance. There is no rocket science to it. You miss your best players and it takes away from the level of your game.”
While it will cost a lot of money, if Chelsea can bring Fofana to west London then they could be set at the back for years.