Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Manchester United Keeping Tabs on This Leicester City Defender: Should Solskjaer Go In For Him?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from French media outlet Foot Mercato suggest that Manchester United are keen on signing Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana in the upcoming transfer window as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to add to his options at the back.

The report further states that the Red Devils have already made ‘first contacts’ over a potential deal for the French centre-back, but the Foxes might want a fee similar to the € 93 million United paid for Harry Maguire a couple of years back. However, given the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s improbable that Solskjaer would be willing to match the humongous price tag put by Leicester.

Fofana’s Impressive Season At The King Power Stadium

It’ll be an understatement to say that Wesley Fofana has hit the ground running at Leicester since his £30 million move from Saint-Etienne last October. The Marseille-born defender has featured in 29 games across all competitions for the Foxes this season, securing eleven clean sheets in the process. Furthermore, Fofana has been one of the most consistent performers for his side this term – averaging 2 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 2.2 long balls, and 3.8 clearances per 90 minutes in the English top-flight. Furthermore, the 20-year-old centre-back has averaged a pass success rate of 85.7% over the range of twenty-one Premier League appearances, with approximately 56.5 successful passes made per game.

Manchester United Keeping Tabs on Wesley Fofana (Wesley Fofana can be seen in the picture)
West Ham United v Leicester City – Premier League – London Stadium Leicester City s Wesley Fofana left and West Ham United s Jarrod Bowen battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday April 11, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJohnxWaltonx 59126577

With such impressive stats, it’ll be fair to say that Fofana’s ability and composure on the ball are quite ahead of his years. He could help the Red Devils play a high line, allowing skipper Harry Maguire to operate and flourish as the front-footed defender.

Brendan Rodgers was himself left surprised by the Frenchman’s defensive maturity at such a tender age.

“We knew he was a top player for someone so young, and when we spoke to people out there and seeing all the clips, you could see he has anticipation as a defender, he has speed, he has aggression, he defends forward, so all the attributes we like here.” – The Irish coach stated.  

“He’s absolutely colossal for a young guy.”

“You can’t forget he is only 19, even if he is playing like a 29-year-old.”

Should Solskjaer Go In For Him?

The defence is one of the many departments where the club needs to bring in some quality re-enforcements soon – and Fofana fits the bill perfectly. At 20, he is likely to get better with each passing season and can be the ideal man to partner skipper Harry Maguire in the long run.

However, if Leicester fail to put a suitable price tag on the defender, Solskjaer should not enter a bidding war. United have been linked with a host of quality defenders over the months – Pau Torres, Jules Kounde, and Raphael Varane, to name a few – who are available and quite affordable.

So, the board should definitely try and get this deal over the line in the coming months if the figures set by the Foxes are within reach.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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