Leicester City’s rising star at the heart of central defence – Wesley Fofana – has proved to be an phenomenal signing with insane stats. Let’s have a look!
It was late 2020, with the news just breaking out that Leicester City were on the cusp of signing a little-known French defender from Saint-Etienne. BBC Sport reported the signing by quoting Wesley Fofana:
“I’m happy to be here. I’ve watched Leicester City closely since they won the title and they’re a top club in the Premier League”
Wesley Fofana for BBC Sport
Since then, the player has been thrusted into the starting XI, made his name as one of the most promising defenders of our generation, destroyed attackers’ careers, and placed himself integrally in Brendan Rodgers‘ plans for the King Power outfit.
If this player does not stay with Leicester for a long while, then he will definitely be signed by the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, or Manchester City. He is immense, and here is why.
There is no other defender this season who has established themselves so quickly as one of the best. The 20-year-old has played his part in guiding the Foxes into regular top four contenders, fighting for Champions League qualification.
So, courtesy of SofaScore, I want to illustrate just how good Wesley Fofana has been this season. I will compare him to three other players. First, league-winner Robert Huth; second, the final season Harry Maguire had with the Foxes; and finally, Virgil Van Dijk in Liverpool FC’s league winning season.
In terms of clearances per game – this means gathering the ball from attackers and relieving the team of pressure with a pass or wild hit – ‘Little Wes’ has amassed 3.5 per game in a positive and possession-based system.
By comparison, Huth – in a defensively busy system – amassed 7.4. Maguire’s final season saw him accumulate 4.9, and the mighty VVD was very busy with 4.3 per game.
Fofana is not solely responsible for defence as the other three were, but his contribution in identifying danger and snuffing it out in the right way is impressive. Keep in mind, this is his debut season.
Interceptions per game is where Fofana really shines for the Foxes. Alongside Wilfred Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira, and Youri Tielemans, Fofana takes-up a role of intercepting attempted passes and breaking up play: accumulating 2.2 at least per game.
By comparison, only Huth in the league-winning season reaches that milestone. Maguire had 1.2, and VVD only 1.1. These numbers help to underline their differing roles in defence, with Fofana taking a more progressive role than Maguire or VVD.
Tackling is not a measure of success, though it indicates the aggressiveness of a defender. Fofana has an insane 1.9 per game. By comparison, Huth had 1.2, Maguire 1, and VVD only had 0.6 per game.