Wesley Fofana’s comeback with Chelsea

Wesley Fofana’s comeback with Chelsea

When he hits the pitch at King Power Stadium this Saturday against Leicester (4 p.m.), Wesley Fofana will bring back some memories. Good ones, since it is here that the French defender made his law reign in the Premier League, between 2020 and 2022, combative and powerful, fierce and committed. Bad ones too, because it was also there that the Spaniard Fer Nino broke his leg with an uncontrolled and dangerous tackle, in August 2021, during a friendly match between Leicester and Villarreal. The international Espoirs (22) has already suffered serious injuries in his young career, but he has always come back just as strong, if not more.

Hit in one knee against AC Milan in the Champions League (3-0) on October 5 – a match in which he scored his first goal with Chelsea – the central defender then missed another four months of competition, sharpening the frustration of the management of the Blues, who invested more than 80 M € to snatch him from Leicester during the last summer transfer window.

Fofana could have doubted, in this overstaffed club, and after the criticism that had accompanied one of his first outings, at the beginning of September against West Ham (2-1). The Frenchman had been guilty of a risky placement on the Hammers goal and had raised some questions about his ability to absorb the pressure of a very big club.

Impressive with his defensive confidence and offensive contribution

But his return, four weeks ago, shows that this kind of misadventure is not the type to stop him, quite the contrary. The ex-Stéphanois, with unfailing serenity, impresses with his defensive confidence but also his offensive contribution, symbolized by this crucial goal scored a week ago against Leeds (1-0), and which will perhaps change. be the nature of the end of the season for Chelsea, tenth in the Premier League.

In the absence of boss Thiago Silva (injured) and due to the disappointing performances of Kalidou Koulibaly (31), Fofana has become the defensive leader of the Blues, the one who sets the pace, from the right axis of the defense at three .

Wesley Fofana will necessarily scrutinize the list of Didier Deschamps

While his knee injury may have made him miss the World Cup in Qatar, the young player, never called up to the France team, will necessarily scrutinize Didier Deschamps’ list on Thursday. Framework of the Hopes of Sylvain Ripoll, who hopes to count on him for Euro 2023 (June 21-July 8), Fofana arrives at a pivotal moment.

Côte d’Ivoire, whose nationality he also has, is pressing hard to convince him. After the international retirement of Raphaël Varane, and despite the lead taken over him by Dayot Upamecano (24 years old), Ibrahima Konaté (23 years old), even William Saliba (21 years old) in blue, the Chelsea defender is still giving himself a little not much time. It remains to be seen until when.

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