Fofana The Fox: The Defender’s Background
Born in Marseille on 17 December, 2000, Wesley moved through the youth ranks of the French football system to become one of the most exciting prospects in Ligue 1.
A fierce and committed defender of the ball, his style of play was developed across various academies near to his birth city of Marseille, up to the north of France and back down again before eventually settling in Saint-Étienne.
While the central eastern city of Saint-Étienne is known for its arts and history, its football club has been steadily building a reputation for developing some of the most highly-rated young defenders in the modern game.
Fofana’s debut season as a pro
The centre-back contests his first full season as a professional having spent five years at Saint-Étienne. In 2019/20, he makes 20 appearances in all competitions as Sainté retain their Ligue 1 status under former Leicester City manager Claude Puel.
In 2006, Fofana spent two years SC Repos Vitrolles, and then a further two at ES Mining Basin before a year at JS Des Pennes Mirabeau was followed by four years at SC Air Bel, based in Marseille.
It was in July 2015 that he headed to Saint-Étienne, first representing Saint-Étienne II before a breakthrough into the senior set up arrived in 2019 – the same year he lifted the Gambardella Cup with the Under-19s side after a 2-0 win over Toulouse in April.
His career at Saint-Étienne began to gather pace a year prior, in 2018, though, when he signed his first professional contract with Sainté, while 368 days later, his first team debut followed.
Sainté’s cup run
Fofana and Saint-Étienne’s run to the Coupe de France final ended in heartbreak as 14th-minute effort from Neymar settled the tie. The centre-back played 90 minutes against Paris-Saint Germain at the Stade de France.
At the age of 18, Fofana came off the bench to replace the injured Pierre Yves Polomat just 20 minutes into a crunch clash with OGC Nice as they went in search of a top-four finish and ultimately qualification for the UEFA Europa League.
A brace of goals from Robert Berić stole the headlines in a 3-0 win, but it also proved to be significant moment for Fofana, who after spending time in various academies finally made his senior bow in Ligue 1.
His first start followed in a clash with Angers six days later, while his 20 appearances in all competitions, including a maiden goal for the Club against Nice in December 2019, helped them retain their top-flight status.
A further four appearances have followed this campaign, with Fofana securing three clean sheets for his side ahead of his switch to Leicester City.
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