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Wesley Fofana, a French center back, has joined Chelsea on a seven-year contract worth £70 million plus add-ons from Leicester City.
Fofana, a member of the France Under-21 team, joined Leicester in 2020 from Saint-Etienne in France and has since made 37 Premier League appearances.
After injuring his leg during a preseason friendly against Villarreal, he was only able to play in seven league games during the 2021–22 season.
He declared, “The past two days have been incredibly big for me and I’m quite thrilled.”
“I trained with the team this morning, and it’s a dream come true for me. I’m incredibly eager to begin playing games for the supporters and the club.
“I’m here to win trophies – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, everything. I came here to win and the club is built to win trophies so I’m here to continue that.”
Even with add-on payments, the deal for the 21-year-old does not exceed the £80m that Manchester United paid Leicester for Harry Maguire in 2019 – still a world record for a defender.
Wesley is a very talented defender who has already distinguished himself in the Premier League at a young age, according to Todd Boehly, chairman of Chelsea. We are thrilled that we were able to add one of Europe’s most promising players to Chelsea and bolster that section of our roster for the current season as well as many more to come.
As Leicester defeated Chelsea in the 2021 FA Cup final to win the trophy for the first time ever, Fofana was a starter in Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI.
Former Leicester striker Gary Lineker wrote on social media, “Gutted to lose him but wish Wesley Fofana well.”
“It makes sense because every player wants to play Champions League football.
“Chelsea fans, you’ve got the most prodigiously talented young central defender in the world. Yes, I believe he’s that good.”
This summer Chelsea have brought in England forward Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for £50m, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £34m, English midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa for £20m, Spain left-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton for £60m and Italian midfielder Cesare Casadei from Inter Milan.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are eighth in the Premier League after Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Southampton, a second loss in their past three games.