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With just under three weeks to go until the summer transfer window closes, Thomas Tuchel is still looking to bolster his squad, with the defensive area eyed to add to the arrivals of Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella.
Tuchel has already confirmed that he ideally wants another central defender, admitting: “We could use one more central defender. If you look at the numbers and we play with a back three. The profile of the guys in the three is a little bit different, I admit.
“Playing with Azpi, more a fullback than central defender. Cucurella it’s possible. Both of them cannot play as central defenders. We could use one more central defender. Let’s see what happens.”
Their quest has seen them target Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, who is their number one target between now and the end of the transfer window.
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted in recent weeks that he is not for sale. But as the weeks have passed, his stance has softened after confirming Chelsea’s two rejected offers have not met the club’s valuation.
That means he is for sale, at a price. But what will that price be? It will take a world-record bid for a defender to convince the Foxes of parting ways with the France international, which the Blues are reluctant to do right now, who signed a fresh long-term deal back in March.
Fofana joined the Foxes in 2020 after a successful spell in France, coming through the youth ranks of Saint-Etienne. After his first season with Leicester City, Fofana won the Young Player of the Season award, an accolade voted by the club’s supporters.
The 21-year-old has remained fairly quiet on his future, other than his social media antics of removing Leicester City from his Twitter bio, fuelling speculation over his Foxes future, with it believed that he is open to moving to Chelsea this summer.
In Fofana’s following season, he suffered that career-threatening broken leg which put him out of action for almost the entire season. Since then, he has looked as sharp as ever and seems to be over that injury hurdle.
The upward trajectory that his career is going in suggests that signing him would be more than just a gamble for Chelsea, with evident signs that Fofana would improve the Blues’ backline and add more quality than what is already in the squad.
The French defender has the height to go to the very top, being six foot and three inches. That aerial prowess gives Fofana all the tools to dominate any type of matchups in the Premier League, and his ball-playing ability is also second to none in the division, despite his massive frame.
He can play in a back-three, or with just one centre-back partner, which is perfect for Tuchel’s mould and how he sets his team up. Fofana can play in the heart of the defence, or one either side.
His age also suggests that he can be a long-term successor to Thiago Silva, who, despite not showing signs of ageing, is coming to the swansong of his career. Fofana fits the project and Chelsea should be going all-out to sign a player of his quality.
As shown in his league debut last weekend against Everton, Kalidou Koulibaly proved how physically demanding the Premier League can be, coming off the pitch after suffering with cramps, albeit he did join up with the Chelsea squad late in pre-season.
Fofana wouldn’t need to adjust. He’s already proven in the Premier League and would prove to be good value for that hefty fee that comes with the purchase.
To answer the question whether Chelsea should pursue him and make him the world’s most expensive defender, the answer is certainly.