Wesley Fofana became one of the most expensive defenders in soccer history after securing a move to Chelsea from Premier League rival Leicester for a reported fee of 75 million pounds ($87 million) on Wednesday.
The signing of the 21-year-old French center back took Chelsea's spending in this transfer window to about $270 million, with the vast majority of that on defenders. Left-back Marc Cucurella ($65 million) and center back Kalidou Koulibaly ($38 million) have already moved to Stamford Bridge.
England international Harry Maguire, who also left Leicester to join Manchester United in 2019 for 80 million pounds, is the only defender to have cost more than Fofana. Virgil van Dijk completed a move to Liverpool in January 2018 for a similar fee as Fofana's.
A ball-playing center-back who is an excellent reader of the game, Fofana has signed a seven-year deal with Chelsea.
“Wesley is a hugely promising defender who has already proven his quality in the Premier League at a young age,” said Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly, who has spent big in his first transfer window since fronting the purchase of the club from Roman Abramovich.
“We are delighted we were able to bring one of Europe’s most exciting talents to Chelsea and further strengthen that area of our squad, both for this season and many more to come.”
Fofana, who has never played for France's senior national team, joined Leicester from Saint-Etienne in 2020 and made 52 appearances, 37 of them in the Premier League.
He was dropped for recent Leicester games as he looked to force a move to Chelsea and wound-up training with the under-23s.
“The two last days have been really big days for me and I’m very happy,” Fofana said. "I trained this morning with the team and it’s a dream for me. I’m very excited to start playing games for the fans and the club."I’m here to win trophies: the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, everything. I came here to win and the club is built to win trophies so I’m here to continue that."