Chelsea have given up their pursuit of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, with the French international on his way to Barcelona and that means the Blues’ fans can breathe now that the transfer rollercoaster has come to its conclusion one way or the other. This one was a mind-boggling saga wherein the journalists reporting from both the countries had contradicting opinions about the deal, and from a fan pov – it gets frustrating after a point, innit?
Barcelona are one step away from signing Jules Koundé. The agreement with Sevilla, close to be completed. Negotiations progressing well, deal finally moving to the last steps. 🚨🔵🔴 #FCB
Koundé and his agent, waiting after personal terms agreed last weekend. pic.twitter.com/SkyFxYqe9O
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 27, 2022
With only one and a half weeks on the clock for the upcoming Premier League season to commence, Chelsea needs to get their act together and do so quickly in the market.
With a few replacements for Jules Kounde linked, reports from reliable sources around the club claim that Chelsea are now looking at Wesley Fofana to slot in as the left center-back next to Thiago Silva next season. It is an interesting prospect to pursue Fofana, who despite his young age has established himself as one of the best in his positions in the League.
But is Wesley Fofana the right fit for Chelsea or if the club should look elsewhere:
Wesley Fofana is a right-footed centre-back who has partnered with Soyuncu for Leicester City in the past couple of seasons. The Frenchman was limited to only seven appearances in the League for the foxes last season having had a major ACL injury that hampered his progress. Despite only playing 630 minutes, the 21-year-old had 72 passes per 90 and an 89.7% pass completion rate. He is a very progressive ball carrier and made 5 carries per 90 last season which is amongst the 92 percentile in the league. Though the sample size of these stats are very small they do prove that he had a quite impressive season even though he played for a struggling Leicester side.
Hefty Price Tag
Brendan Rodgers & Co. have reportedly put a price tag of £70 million on the 21-year-old, after having signed a 2-year contract extension in March – Fofana’s current deal at the King Power Stadium expires in 2027 which makes it complicated for Chelsea to convince the Foxes to sell.
Spending those hefty bucks on a player who is just finding his form after a long period on the sidelines and hasn’t been consistent doesn’t seem like the best of choices from Chelsea’s perspective. You never know how a player will come out of these injuries, getting an ACL done has been responsible for multiple barriers for players before and the same could be the case for Wesley.
Putting trust in Cobham?
Tuchel already has two budding superstars in his squad, Trevoh Chalobah and Levi Colwill who do have a high ceiling but still are a bit raw.
As regards Chalobah, he did have a remarkable breakthrough season last year with his boyhood club playing second fiddle to Thiago Silva and putting in impressive performances. The 23-year-old’s heroics have shown Tuchel that he is ready to play for the first team and cement his place.
Coming to Levi Colwill’s situation, it’s different compared to that of Chalobah as the 19-year-old has just returned from an impressive loan spell at Huddersfield Town which saw the Terriers reach the Championship playoffs. The Cobham graduate is determined to break into the first-team squad this season as he feels he is ready for the challenge. Although if the opportunities coming his way sound limited then he may look for pastures beyond Cobham.
Wesley Fofana is a fantastic player, he has added multiple dynamics to Leicester’s defensive line since his move from Saint Etienne and has time-and-time again looked integral to the lads at the heart of the defence. Though he has just had a big injury, and he’s still coming back – and it could be a burden of a price tag to second with if he does move from Leicester this summer. Maybe another season at King Power would be best for him before looking for much-anticipated step up.
While for Chelsea, they have a history of messing up on dealing smartly with their academy players – this has got many Blues faithful frustrated & scratching their heads over the years. Chalobah and Colwill may make mistakes, but a certain Arsene Wenger once said, “You pay for the education of young players with points. If I play a 20-year-old center-back, I know he’ll cost me points during the season & I have to stand up for that. A less talented 28-year-old would cost me less points. However, by 23/24 you have a player.”
Chelsea already have some names that can have a major impact, but if them being raw is the only thing that’s keeping the Blues from giving them chances then there is a bigger risk of losing them, and that too to League rivals. Tuchel could address his attack and midfield problems than spending heavily on his defence where there is enough quality backup. But are Tuchel and Chelsea ready to put their trust in young players?