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West Ham bid £33m for 19-year-old starlet – Are they right in pursuing the Frenchman?

Wesley Fofana (Image credit: Google)
Wesley Fofana (Image credit: Google)

Why West Ham signing Wesley Fofana would be a great move by Moyes

West Ham have issued an ultimatum to Saint-Etienne over the transfer of Wesley Fofana after bidding £33m for him (Sky Sports). The Hammers have been after him for a while now but St.-Etienne refused to entertain any offers.

It has gone to the point now that West Ham have told the French club that they have set a time limit and they are willing to walk away if the deal is not done by then.

Profile

Wesley Fofana is a 19-year-old French centre-back who plays for St. Etienne. He started his youth career at Repos Vitrolles in 2006. Various more spells followed at Bassin Minier (2008), Pennes Mirabeau (2011), Bel Air (2011) and finally settled at St. Etienne in 2015.

He played the next few seasons for the youth sides before being promoted to the senior team last season. In total, he played 29 games and scored 2 goals (source – Transfermarkt).

Wesley Fofana (front) has established himself as a key member for St. Etienne(Getty Images)
Wesley Fofana (front) has established himself as a key member for St. Etienne(Getty Images)

Fofana chose to play for France, his country of birth but he also had the choice of playing for Ivory Coast. He is yet to be called up to any of the French youth sides or the senior side.

Do West Ham need him?

West Ham are after a new centre-back to partner Issa Diop. Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena haven’t exactly provided the best of supports to Diop. This has led to West Ham leaking goals left and right.

Fofana is a young centre-back with lots of potential. At just 19, he is still in the developmental stages of his career and game. While it would make sense to invest on a promising young defender, paying a sum of £33million feels too risky.

Wesley Fofana (R) in action against Paris Saint Germain (Getty Images)
Wesley Fofana (R) in action against Paris Saint Germain (Getty Images)

He has just one season of top-flight football experience in him. Although the club are ready to pay the sum, they should really consider their decision.

Verdict

Yes, transfer fees have skyrocketed in the last couple of years and young players with even a speck of experience are going for millions. Not doubting Fofana’s talent or potential, the proposed sum feels too big a gamble.

He may as well go on to become a solid defender but that’s still the conjecture at this point. West Ham have spent big in recent years and not a lot of them have paid dividends in the way they would have liked. So, even if they need someone like Fofana, they shouldn’t be paying such a premium sum for them.

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