Player profile: Wesley Fofana

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Wesley Fofana or “Little Wes” as he is known to Leicester City fans was one of the stand out young talents of the 20/21 season and with a good dose of Premier League experience under his belt the 20 year old Frenchman should only improve further. At £4.5m he could be a fantastic budget option for FPL managers.

Story so far
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Fofana joined Leicester City from St.Etienne for £36.5M a fee many thought was possibly on the steep side when he joined. Fofana who was born and raised in Marseille had been with Saint-Etienne for 5 years prior to joining the Foxes and made just the 20 senior appearances. Wesley put any doubts surrounding his price tag to bed fairly quickly with his impressive adjustment to the premier League.

Fofana was called upon in just his second week with the club playing 90 minutes at home to Aston Villa, a game that Leicester lost 1-0 but it was already apparent Rodgers had a talent on his hands. Fofana’s physical defending and fearless ball carrying ability makes him perfect for the Premier league. Fofana is everything a modern centre-back should be; Fast, strong, good in the air and capable with the ball at his feet.

Fofana went on to make 40 appearances for the Foxes in his debut season despite missing 5 weeks through injury, the French starlet quickly became a fan favourite and displayed maturity beyond his years, particularly in the FA Cup final victory against Chelsea where he was many supporters man of the match for his heroics in defence after Jonny Evans had to depart early.

What to expect
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Wesley is destined for greatness and I fully expect another big season from him, the amount of potential he still has is frankly quite scary, he may not be at Leicester forever but I’m convinced he’ll go on to be one of the very best defenders in the world.

Brendan Rodgers was forced to adopt a back 5 last season due to injuries to players such as Harvey Barnes but the success of this formation and Leicester’s signings so far would suggest this system may be here to stay. The additions of Patson Daka and Ryan Bertand point towards two strikers and wing backs being a big part of the plan for the Foxes in 21/22, this is of course great news for Fofana who is a key part of Leicester’s back three, his recovery speed allows him to cover the space left by the advancing wing backs with relative ease and in attack you will often see him drifting out to the right side to play more of a fullback role, providing an overlapping outlet to Ricardo or Castagne when needed.

Fofana’s defensive stats amongst his team mates were very solid last season, he was ranked st for shots blocked per 90, 2nd for interceptions behind the monster that is Ndidi and 1st for aerial duels won.

Defensive Action (per 90)Rank (amongst Leicester squad)
Shots blocked1st
Interceptions2nd
Aerial duels won1st
All stats taken from https://fbref.com/en/

Fofana also boasts impressive stats in possession, when compared to all centre backs in Europe’s top 5 leagues (per 90) he ranks in the top 5% for progressive carriers, top 12% for dribbles completed and top 12% for passes attempted. In attack Wesley Ranks in the top 22% for Non-Penalty xG per 90 and top 20% for shot creating actions per 90.

attacking aciton (per 90)percentile rank amongst cbs’ from top 5 leagues
Progressive carriersTop 5%
Dribbles completedTop 12%
Passes attemptedTop 12%
Non-penalty xGTop 22%
Shot creating actionsTop 20%
All stats taken from https://fbref.com/en/
Conclusion
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It’s clear to see that Fofana has a very bright future and with Leicester’s injury list finally starting to clear I expect the foxes to have a top 6/8 defence in the league this season. Of course wing backs are always the go to for FPL managers but at 4.5m Fofana offers enough in both attack and defence to be a viable asset for the 21/22 season and would be one of my top picks in terms of value and expected minutes in this Leicester side.

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