Why Everton should move for Wesley Fofana as a long-term prospect

According to Daily Star, Everton have joined the race to sign highly-rated Saint-Etienne defender, Wesley Fofana, who is currently enjoying an impressive breakthrough season in the French top-flight. 

The 19-year-old central defender, who made professional debut for Saint-Etienne against OGC  Nice in Ligue 1 towards the end of the previous campaign, has really come of age with a string of top-notch displays for his boyhood club this season. 

Fofana has already clocked up 12 appearances across all competitions so far this term, starting on 7 occasions in Ligue 1 while also playing a part in the club’s Europa League group stage campaign. 

The teenager’s impressive breakthrough in France hasn’t eluded the eyes of some of the bigger clubs across the continent, with Fofana already emerging as a target for Monaco, RB Leipzig, AC Milan and Stuttgart. (h/t Daily Star)

Now, as per the report, Premier League outfit Everton have also entered the race to sign the talented teenage prodigy from Saint-Etienne, who bagged a massive profit from the sale of academy prospect William Saliba to Arsenal this past summer. 

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Everton signing this 19-year-old French top-flight starlet would offer long-term defensive stability 3

Everton had been widely tipped to spend big in January when Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins from Marco Silva but if the recent development is anything to go by, the Toffees are unlikely to fork out millions of pounds during the mid-season window, with the club set to announce record losses in their turnover. (h/t Daily Star)

However, regardless of what unfolds in the January window, Director of Football Marcel Brands is continuing to run the rule over the club’s potential targets, with a talented new central defender expected to be high on his priority list. (h/t Daily Star)

The report further adds that Everton have been linked with top-quality young centre-backs like Jean-Clair Todibo and Merih Demiral in recent weeks, and now Wesley Fofana has also joined the shortlist of potential targets at Goodison Park. 

Meanwhile, Everton have lost back-to-back fixtures against Man City in the Premier League and Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup after making a positive start to life under Ancelotti with consecutive league victories over Burnley and Newcastle United. 

However, given the level of talent in the ranks and with Ancelotti now striving hard to get the best out of the existing players in the squad, a good run of form in the coming months could well be enough to secure a Europa League qualification spot (7th place finish in the standings). 

As evident from a tally of 24 goals scored and 32 conceded in 21 games so far, Everton need to improve on their displays at both ends of the pitch if they are to push on for greater heights. However, with the club expected to operate under financial constraints in January, it remains to be seen how Ancelotti copes with the challenge.

To put things into perspective, Everton certainly need more solidity at the back moving forward and Wesley Fofana looks like an excellent long-term prospect for the Toffees, who have focussed largely on recruiting burgeoning young talents from across the continent under Marcel Brands. 

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Everton signing this 19-year-old French top-flight starlet would offer long-term defensive stability 4

With the centre-back pairing of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina failing to live up to the expectations, Everton’s lack of depth in central defence has been badly exposed at times even against mid-table opposition in the Premier League. 

Youngster Mason Holgate, who has been used in multiple positions across the pitch, has done a fair job whenever he has been afforded a chance but it is a no-brainer that the Toffees need to bring in fresh faces to increase competition for places at the heart of the defence. 

Verdict

To that end, Everton need to start planning for the long-term under Ancelotti and there have already been obvious signs to suggest that Wesley Fofana has all the raw materials to excel in the Premier League in the years to come. 

Fofana is still in his formative years as a professional footballer and he would definitely need time to acclimatize to the style of play prevalent in the Premier League, meaning that a potential deal to bring him to Goodison Park next summer might be ideal. 

Indeed, that would allow him more time to settle down after spending a full pre-season with the squad rather than coming through the door as a January recruit, which could make things difficult for him. Fofana is clearly one for the future and the Toffees should continue to keep tabs on him with a view to a swoop in the summer window. 

Having said that, Everton could land themselves a gem for the future if they manage to beat off competition for Wesley Fofana in the coming days.

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