As you well know, Claude Puel is a big fan of Wesley Fofana.
The Saint-Etienne manager, who once had a stint at King Power Stadium, was strongly opposed to the player’s sale to Leicester City, but the Premier League club’s financial power eventually won that battle, signing the 19-year-old for a fee potentially rising to €40m.
He’s yet to make an appearance under Brendan Rodgers (he was on the bench against West Ham), and he may be nursed into the squad ever so gently due to his age and the pressure from the transfer fee, but Puel is under no illusions of the talent he’s lost.
First with William Saliba and now with Fofana, the manager has had to see two of his starlets leave early for a Premier League move, which has helped the French club’s bank account, but he feels they could have got more next year.
He told L’Equipe: “We have deadlines to meet before June 30th. There was no debate the day we let him leave, but in a year, Wesley would have cost a lot more, because a lot of big clubs had programmed his arrival at that time. He can become one of the best defenders in the world”.
This might be exactly why Leicester City went all out to get Fofana this time around rather than wait an extra year, knowing they might have to compete against much bigger and richer sides for his signature if they delayed any longer.
He’s there now, and if he does become the player Puel thinks he will, then it’s the Foxes who will be laughing their way to the bank if they ever decide to sell him.