Wesley Fofana (footballer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wesley Fofana
Fofana playing for Leicester City in 2022
Personal information
Full name Wesley Tidjan Fofana[1]
Date of birth (2000-12-17) 17 December 2000 (age 23)[2]
Place of birth Marseille, France
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[3]
Position(s) Centre-back[4]
Team information
Current team
Chelsea
Number 33
Youth career
2006–2008 Repos Vitrolles
2008–2010 Bassin Minier
2010–2011 Pennes Mirabeau
2011–2015 Bel Air
2015–2018 Saint-Étienne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2018–2019 Saint-Étienne II 21 (0)
2019–2020 Saint-Étienne 20 (1)
2020–2022 Leicester City 37 (0)
2022– Chelsea 15 (1)
International career
2020–2022 France U21 7 (0)
2023– France 1 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:33, 28 May 2023 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 16 June 2023

Wesley Tidjan Fofana (born 17 December 2000) is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team.

Early and personal life[edit]

Fofana was born in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.[5] His father is Ivorian, whereas his mother is French.[6] One of six children, he started playing football at the age of six playing for Repos Vitrolles.[7]

Fofana is Muslim. On 22 April 2021, he was substituted on the hour mark during Leicester's 3–0 win against West Bromwich Albion, while Fofana was daytime fasting for the month-long Islamic Ramadan.[8] In the next match against Crystal Palace, the game was paused after the half-hour mark to allow Fofana and Cheikhou Kouyaté to have some fluids to break their Ramadan fast.[9]

Fofana showed his support for the Palestinians after winning the 2021 English FA Cup Final by waving a large Palestinian flag, along with fellow Leicester City teammate Hamza Choudhury, during their team celebrations that took place amidst the 2021 Israeli-Palestinian clashes in May 2021.[10]

Club career[edit]

Saint-Étienne[edit]

Having been in the youth system since 2015, Fofana signed his first professional contract with Saint-Étienne on 15 May 2018.[11] He made his debut for the club in a 3–0 league win over Nice on 18 May 2019.[12]

Leicester City[edit]

Fofana joined English Premier League club Leicester City on 2 October 2020, signing a five-year contract.[13] The transfer fee paid to Saint-Étienne was reported as up to £36.5 million.[14] On 15 May 2021, he played in the 2021 FA Cup Final, which Leicester won 1–0 for his first career honour in England.[15] He and teammate Hamza Choudhury both celebrated draped in the flag of Palestine, during the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis.[16]

On 21 May 2021, Fofana won Leicester City's Young Player of the Season award after being voted by the club's supporters.[17]

On 4 August 2021, during a pre-season friendly against Villarreal, Fofana suffered a broken leg following a challenge by Fer Niño.[18] On 17 March 2022, Fofana played his first match since his injury, scoring in a 2–1 defeat to Stade Rennais in the UEFA Europa Conference League which secured Leicester's progress to the next round on a 3–2 aggregate score.[19]

Chelsea[edit]

On 31 August 2022, Fofana joined Premier League club Chelsea on a seven-year contract[20] for a reported initial fee of £70 million, plus £5 million in add-ons.[21][22] After signing for Chelsea, Fofana criticised his former club Leicester City, accusing them of issuing "false and misleading comments" during his protracted transfer.[23] On 3 September, he made his debut for the club in a 2–1 win at home against West Ham United in the Premier League.[24] He scored his first goal for Chelsea on 5 October in a Champions League 3–0 victory against AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, but suffered a major knee injury after 38 minutes, forcing him to be substituted off, and was ruled out until February 2023.[25]

Fofana returned from injury on 18 February 2023, in a 1–0 home defeat against Southampton.[26] He scored his first ever Premier League goal against Leeds United on 4 March, in a 1–0 home victory.[27] On 18 July 2023, Chelsea revealed that Fofana had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) and had undergone a surgery.[28] In late November 2023, it was announced that Fofana had been cleared to resume training following his recovery from the ACL injury.[29]

International career[edit]

In March 2023, Fofana received his first call-up to the France senior national team for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying matches against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.[30] However, he was forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 28 May 2023[31]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] League cup[b] Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Saint-Étienne 2018–19 Ligue 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2019–20 Ligue 1 14 1 6 1 2 0 2[c] 0 24 2
2020–21 Ligue 1 4 0 4 0
Total 20 1 6 1 2 0 2 0 30 2
Leicester City 2020–21 Premier League 28 0 4 0 0 0 6[c] 0 38 0
2021–22 Premier League 7 0 0 0 0 0 5[d] 1 12 1
2022–23 Premier League 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 37 0 4 0 0 0 11 1 52 1
Chelsea 2022–23 Premier League 15 1 0 0 0 0 5[e] 1 20 2
Career total 72 2 10 1 2 0 18 2 102 5
  1. ^ Includes Coupe de France, FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes Coupe de la Ligue, EFL Cup
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa Conference League
  5. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

As of match played 16 June 2023[32]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
France 2023 1 0
Total 1 0

Honours[edit]

Saint-Étienne

Leicester City

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2022/23 Premier League squad lists". Premier League. 14 September 2022. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Overview". ESPN. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Wesley Fofana". Chelsea FC. 13 February 2024. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Profile". worldfootball.net. HEIM:SPIEL. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Wesley Fofana". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  6. ^ "France ou Côte d'Ivoire? La réponse de Wesley Fofana est tombée !". 18 November 2021.
  7. ^ Hendrix, Hale (29 October 2020). "Wesley Fofana Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts". LifeBogger. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  8. ^ Blackwell, Jordan (23 April 2021). "Brendan Rodgers to protect 'remarkable' Wesley Fofana during Ramadan". Leicestershire Live. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Leicester defender thanks Premier League after being allowed to break Ramadan fast mid-game". Sky Sports.
  10. ^ "Leicester City soccer players raise Palestinian flag after UK cup victory". Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  11. ^ @ASSEofficiel. "Wesley Fofana signe professionnel". ASSE.fr.
  12. ^ "AS Saint-Etienne - OGC Nice (3-0) - Saison 2018/2019 - Ligue 1 Conforama". www.lfp.fr.
  13. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Leicester sign French defender from Saint-Etienne on five-year contract". BBC Sport. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  14. ^ Romano, Fabrizio (29 September 2020). "Leicester agree £36.5m deal to sign Wesley Fofana from St Etienne". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Chelsea 0-1 Leicester: Foxes lift FA Cup". UEFA. 15 May 2021.
  16. ^ Donoghue, Eamon (15 May 2021). "Leicester duo celebrate FA Cup win with Palestine flag". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Tielemans Scoops Player Of The Season Double". Leicester City F.C. 21 May 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Leicester City defender suffers broken leg in friendly". BBC Sport. 5 August 2021. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Wesley Fofana marks Leicester comeback with decisive goal at Rennes". The Guardian. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Fofana signs for Chelsea". www.chelseafc.com. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Why 'generational talent' Wesley Fofana could prove to be a £70m bargain for Chelsea". Telegraph. 31 August 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Chelsea complete signing of Leicester's French defender in £75m deal". SkySports. 31 August 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Wesley Fofana: Defender criticises former club Leicester City after Chelsea move". BBC Sport. 31 August 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  24. ^ "Substitute Kai Havertz scored a late winner as Chelsea recovered to record a dramatic victory over West Ham". BBC Sport. 3 September 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  25. ^ "Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan: Blues kickstart Champions League campaign with convincing win over Italian champions". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  26. ^ "Chelsea 0-1 Southampton: James Ward-Prowse free-kick deepens gloom for Graham Potter". BBC Sport. 18 February 2023. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  27. ^ "Chelsea 1-0 Leeds United: Wesley Fofana scores to ease pressure on Graham Potter". BBC Sport. 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  28. ^ "Wesley fofana injury update". www.chelseafc.com. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  29. ^ Gokhale, Aditya (24 November 2023). "Huge Chelsea boost! Wesley Fofana all smiles as Blues defender reaches significant milestone in ACL injury recovery". Goal.com. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  30. ^ "La liste des vingt-trois Bleus". FFF (in French). 16 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  31. ^ Wesley Fofana at Soccerway
  32. ^ "Wesley Fofana". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  33. ^ "Mbappé suffers ankle injury as PSG beat 10-man Saint-Étienne to lift French Cup". The Guardian. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  34. ^ McNulty, Phil (15 May 2021). "Chelsea 0–1 Leicester City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  35. ^ "IFFHS".

External links[edit]