The 20-year-old Ivorian attacker is headed to Stamford Bridge — let’s establish the key details behind Chelsea’s David Datro Fofana transfer.
Chelsea FC are still in the holiday spirit, with their newest gift arriving in the form of 20-year-old striker David Datro Fofana. When the transfer window officially opens on Jan. 1, the Ivory Coast international will join the Blues for a reported fee of $13.15 million (€12 million). As always, the deal will be made official once personal terms are fulfilled and medicals are cleared.
Fofana’s distinctive path to Premier League ascension has been a short and sweet ride. Shockingly, his first professional contract with the Norwegian club Molde FK was signed in 2021. In two seasons with the club, the pacy forward netted 15 goals in 42 appearances for Molde in the Eliteserien, the top flight of Norway’s soccer pyramid. Now, the player is already heading to Stamford Bridge under the tutelage of manager Graham Potter, who is looking to strengthen and diversify his attacking options after the international break.
But how did a West African international shredding up the Norwegian league not just get on the radar of a powerhouse club like Chelsea, but consummate a surprisingly low-cost move? As it turns out, the UEFA Europa League is a hotbed for scouting talent in addition to being the second-tier knockout competition in the European game. The Ivorian scored four goals in 10 appearances between Europa League qualifying and the main tournament, signaling being ready for grander challenges in the Champions League.
The young forward will join a perfect situation if his talents perform to Premier League standards. After sacking Thomas Tuchel due to a poor start to the season, Chelsea and its supporters searched the globe for more attacking options, led by Potter. The Blues have 19 goals as things stand, sitting at 12th in the league as of this writing. For perspective, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland has 20 to himself, outworking Chelsea’s entire front line to date.
Gambling on a young, unproven player could be a massive risk for the West London club, whose goal-scoring woes need to be solved sooner rather than later if they wish to compete for a slot in European soccer next season. Currently, the team features Kai Havertz as its makeshift main striker despite the player being best deployed as a central attacking midfielder. And while the last deadline day signing brought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the Premier League, the 33-year-old has dropped to the bench after showing signs of age-related decline.
While the risk of throwing Fofana into the fire is worth discussing, it’ll be up to the club to give him the minutes necessary to impact their lack of scoring.
David Datro Fofana Transfer Details
Deal agreed on: Dec. 28, 2022
Transfer finalizes on: Jan. 1, 2023
Base transfer fee: $13,150,000 (€12,000,000)
Fofana’s estimated market value: $7,467,950.00 via Transfermarkt
Fofana’s Stats Per 90
|Category||Stat Per 90||Percentile|
|Offensive Duel Success %||32.96%||45|
|Dribbling Success %||46.58%||99|
|Touches in Box||6.26||99|
How Fofana Fits in at Chelsea
Chelsea need to up their offensive output after a World Cup break. Both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner didn’t pan out at the club. Christian Pulisic, Havertz, and Aubameyang have all struggled to produce consistently, leaving plenty of room for Fofana to shine on a side that has fortunately improved defensively under Potter.
During the last transfer window, Chelsea emphasized securing versatile players who can play multiple positions on the pitch. However, the versatility was spread across the defense with the signings of Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana (no relation!), and Kalidou Kouliably.
This isn’t the case for David Datro Fofano, however. The right-foot center forward has occupied the No. 9 role in all but two games of his professional career for both club and country. He’s a pure striker with terrific pace, natural flair, and outstanding balance, agility, and elusiveness, forcing anyone in a one-on-one battle to run the risk of finding himself outfoxed.
Although he’s not the most outstanding finisher, Datro has nearly mastered getting into goal-scoring positions. This opens up options on the wing for Raheem Sterling, who could use the support and link-up play from the flank. His first touch and control will work in the Blues’ favor as he accelerates up the pitch, putting pressure on the defense that was once nonexistent.
All told, the future is bright for the young David Datro Fofana, and it’s one that can shine in a hue of blue for years to come if he can earn and keep his managers’ favor. As the world puts its eyes on the wunderkind, it will be up to Chelsea as an organization to develop its newest holiday investment for the long haul.