Who is Wesley Fofana? Analysis of defensive youngster linked with Milan move

Ac Milan continue to be linked with signing various youngsters this summer, Saint-Etienne starlet Wesley Fofana is reportedly on that list of potential targets.

MilanNews note that the Rossoneri are keen on the 19-year-old centre-half, and an offer could be imminent to try and prise him away from the French outfit.

As reported by Football Italia last month, Milan have already swooped for a top defensive talent in Pierre Kalulu, with the 20-year-old joining on a free transfer from Lyon.

However, that signing is perhaps not enough for the Milan hierarchy in that particular area of the squad, as the rumours surrounding a raid for Fofana have now resumed. So, just how good is the French starlet?

Fofana scouting report

The 19-year-old has made 25 appearances at senior level for Saint-Etienne, with 23 of those coming this past season as he has steadily begun to establish himself in the first team having made his breakthrough in October.

At 1.9m tall, he’s a physical presence at the back and plays on the right side of the two centre-halves, while he is knocking on the door to represent France at youth level.

As seen in the video below, he possesses good strength already at a young age and has the frame to still bulk up as he gets older. His long strides and legs ensure he can cover ground quickly whether that’s showing recovery pace to cut out an attack or to get stuck into a tackle, while he also likes to play tight to his man and impose himself.

Further, the timing of his tackles is impressive as he knows when to jump in and when to stay on his feet, although naturally he’ll improve in all of these areas as he gains more experience and matures.

He looks comfortable and confident on the ball and is capable of playing long balls up front, as well as keeping it simpler and offloading possession to his midfield.

As we continue to try and solve the riddle of finding a long-term defensive partner for captain Alessio Romagnoli, it’s clear why Fofana is on our transfer radar given his attributes, strengths, age and likely low cost, and so he seemingly ticks the right boxes in terms of what we’re looking to add.

That said, such a move now would be questionable given Kalulu is set to arrive, unless we intend on green lighting a number of exits this summer with Mateo Musacchio, Simon Kjaer, Leo Duarte and Matteo Gabbia our current set of options. Kalulu is primarily a right-back and so that perhaps raises question marks over Davide Calabria and Andrea Conti instead, although he has often played on the right side of the centre-half pairing too.

It’s early in his career, but there’s a lot to like about Fofana’s raw qualities at this stage, and importantly he fits an obvious void in the side that we’re looking to fix for the long term. Time will tell if he follows Kalulu through the entrance at Milanello later this summer.