Puel: Fofana can be among world’s best
THAT’S WHAT FORMER CITY BOSS BELIEVES FOFANA CAN BECOME
WESLEY Fofana can become one of the best defenders in the world – and it’s Kolo Toure’s job to help him get there, writes Jordan Blackwell.
The new centre-back was excellent on his Leicester City debut on Sunday and he’s set to show off his talents again when the club host Zorya Luhansk in their Europa League opener tomorrow night.
The defeat to Aston Villa was only the 31st senior club match of Fofana’s career, but there are already sky-high hopes for the French teenager, not least from former City boss Claude Puel, who introduced him to the firstteam at Saint-Etienne.
After reluctantly selling his star man for £32 million, Puel said: “In a year, Wesley would have cost much more, because big clubs had scheduled his breakthrough for that time. He can become one of the best defenders in the world.”
Helping Fofana to fulfil such predictions at City is first-team coach Toure.
A Premier League winner with Arsenal and Manchester City, Toure is now teaching the next generation of centre-backs and was influential in aiding Caglar Soyuncu’s development last term. Now he has a new project.
“Kolo’s someone who Wesley really looks up to,” said City boss Brendan Rodgers. “(Fofana) has got an Ivory Coast background in his roots, so Kolo being the king of the Ivory Coast, he’s someone he really looks up to.
“That’s one of Kolo’s roles here, to look at the defenders. He’s got great experience in that position and he can really help him.
“As well, the senior players we have, Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans, are brilliant for our young centre-halves like Cags and now Wesley.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him blossom over the next few years.”
While Toure and team-mates are helping him on the pitch, Fofana is receiving help off it in the form of English lessons. But he has plenty of French speakers around him, including Papy Mendy, Ricardo Pereira, and the Belgian trio, to help him get used to life away from home.
“He’s a very streetwise player,” Rodgers added. “You can see his personality. He’s mature for a 19-year-old guy.”