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Wesley Fofana to Chelsea: Everything You Need to Know

Meet the 21-year-old center back who departs Leicester City to reinforce Thomas Tuchel’s defense at Stamford Bridge.

One day before transfer deadline day in Europe, Chelsea FC completed the signing of Leicester City center back Wesley Fofana. The 21-year-old France youth international leaves the Foxes after a two-year stint, joining the Blues on a seven-year contract for a reported transfer fee of £70 million ($80.57 million) plus an additional £5 million in add-ons.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s focus during the summer window was replacing defensive talent that left Stamford Bridge at the end of last season — the club lost top defender Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid on a free transfer and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona. Initially, the Blues hoped to sign Nathan Ake, Presnel Kimpembe, and Jules Kounde, but missed out on each.

Fortunately, Chelsea managed to land a sturdy center back in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly while also investing in the defensive versatility of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, who was known to be coveted by league champions Manchester City.

Despite the new signings, Chelsea’s backline will need time to get up to speed and buckle down for a long Premier League campaign. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the details surrounding Fofana’s arrival.

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Wesley Fofana Contract & Transfer Details

Contract length: 7 years 
Expected weekly wages: Not reported
Free agency: 2029

Base transfer fee: $80,570,000 (£70,000,000)
Maximum transfer fee: $86,325,000 (£75,000,000)

Estimated market value: $44,000,000 (via Transfermarkt)


Fofana’s Stats Per 90 Minutes

CategoryStat Per 90Percentile
Shots on Target0.2282
Passes Completed63.1189
Touches81.2291
Carries58.1193
Tackles1.6753
Interceptions2.4479
Stats provided by Football Reference. Tracks performance compared to center backs in Europe’s five most significant domestic leagues and European competition over the past year.

How Wesley Fofana Fits in at Chelsea

At a young age, Fofana already possesses a naturally high IQ for the game. His instincts create nearly perfect positioning, which allows for pinpoint interceptions and tackling. Standing at 6-foot-3, he brings a physicality that makes him a threat in the set-piece game and in aerial duels.

In attacking situations, Fofana often pushes himself up into the midfield and shows significant comfort in pushing the ball forward. He has the on-ball skills to keep possession, and although he may often stay on the ball too much for Tuchel’s liking, Chelsea will more than likely break that habit in their back-three system.

Conveniently, Fofana spent most of his young career as the focal point of a back three. With his speed, aggression, intelligence, and concentration, all that Fofana ought to need is time to grow into his new role. Right on cue, veterans like Thiago Silva possess a wealth of knowledge to help make that happen, to say nothing of the top-of-his-prime Koulibaly.

Will rivals wake up one morning and realize that Tuchel reconstructed arguably the best defense in the world in record time? A lot has to go right for Chelsea before we can entertain that fact, but they’ve displayed impressive ambition and spared no expense in their quest to do exactly that.

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