Leicester City’s £30million summer capture of defender Wesley Fofana has reportedly left West Ham United boss David Moyes in agony.
What’s the word?
According to Football Insider, Moyes has been blown away by how Fofana has instantly impressed in the Premier League following his move to the King Power Stadium in the recent transfer window.
West Ham had strived to rival the Foxes in efforts to sign Fofana after his former side Saint-Etienne were left furious by Leicester’s tactics, but eventually missed out to Brendan Rodgers’ side after the Ligue 1 outfit accepted a club-record offer worth €38.5m (£30m).
Leicester had seen several bids rejected over the course of the market, though secured a deal for the highly-coveted youngster after ASSE accepted what they deemed to be an “exceptional” sum during the “uncertain economic context caused by the health crisis”, as noted in an official statement.
Rodgers has been reaping the rewards ever since, with Fofana starting four of Leicester’s Premier League fixtures and helping to two clean sheets including a 1-0 win over Arsenal and a 1-0 victory at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Moyes has been left in awe of the 19-year-old’s instant success in England and is greatly frustrated to not be seeing those efforts in east London, having identified the Under 21 international as a candidate to solve his priority need at centre-half.
David Sullivan’s inability to match or better Leicester’s £30m offer for Fofana before Saint-Etienne accepted the Foxes’ bid will be a failure West Ham could live to rue for years to come, given how well and how fast the teenage brute has taken to the Premier League.
Fofana has enjoyed a dream start to life at the King Power Stadium where Rodgers has hailed the ASSE product, noting via quotes by the Leicester Mercury: “For a boy of 19 years of age, it’s why we worked so hard to get him in. He’s come into a developing team and he’s going to make mistakes.
“Sometimes he stays on the ball a bit longer, he could get his pass off earlier. And sometimes he gets a fraction too tight, but I like my defenders to be able to defend forward and jump forward. That’s just about experience and knowing when to full press or when to three-quarter press.
“He has so many natural attributes, physically he’s a big boy, he’s great in the air, he’s strong, he’s quick, he’ll never get bullied as a centre-half. His profile is perfect for the British game. What you see is that he can play, he takes the ball, he passes the ball, he can step in with the ball, and he can play short and long passes. It’s great.”
Moyes would undoubtedly have loved to have had the chance of nurturing Fofana’s development and to utilise a player Rodgers believes is “perfect” for the Premier League.
Fofana is also one who has made just one fewer successful tackles (8) than Fabian Balbuena (9), made more interceptions (12) than Aaron Cresswell (8) and Angelo Ogbonna (6) and won more ground duels (13) than Balbuena (10), per SofaScore, despite playing vastly fewer top-flight minutes (360) than each Balbuena (540), Ogbonna (693) and Cresswell (720).
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