Leeds: Orta must reignite Fofana interest


Leeds United have been heavily linked with RC Lens central midfielder Seko Fofana over the past 12 months, and with the January transfer window now open, it would appear an extremely wise move for Victor Orta to reignite his interest in the Ivory Coast international this winter.

Indeed, back in January 2022, Foot Mercato editor-in-chief Sebastien Denis took to Twitter to reveal that both the Whites and Newcastle United were interested in a £17m move for the 27-year-old, while Newcastle World relayed further reports from France in April which also claimed that Leeds, Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur were interested in the midfielder.

Furthermore, following a number of reports linking Arsenal with the eight-cap international back in November, Italian transfer insider Fabrizio Romano revealed in a column for CaughtOffside that a number of Premier League clubs remain interested in Fofana ahead of the winter window, with the Ligue 1 side believed to value the midfielder at around €40m (£35m).

And, considering the rather remarkable form the former Manchester City talent has been in for Lens so far in the current campaign, it would not be surprising to see the Whites’ Spanish director of football once again take a vested interest in bringing the midfielder to Elland Road this winter.

Indeed, over his 15 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season, the £26.5m-rated talent has been in fantastic form going forwards, having already scored three goals, registered three assists and created four big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.2 shots, making 1.1 key passes and completing 1.5 dribbles – at a success rate of 61% – per game.

The £30.5k-per-week playmaker has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, enjoying an average of 63.8 touches of the ball per fixture, as well as making an average of 0.8 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and completing 45.3 passes – at a success rate of 90% – per match.

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Question 1. After starring for England at the 2002 World Cup, how much did Leeds sell Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for?

These returns have seen the player who Get France Football News head of content Adam White dubbed both “relentless” and “incredible” average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.12, not only ranking him as Franck Haise’s fourth-best performer in the league but also as the 35th-best player in the French top flight as a whole this term.

And, with Leeds having somewhat struggled for creativity and goals from central midfield in the Premier League this season – with Marc Roca, Tyler Adams, Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich having scored one goal and provided one assist combined – it is clear to see that a more attack-minded option in the middle of the park is very much needed at Elland Road.

As such, it would indeed appear an extremely wise move for Orta to reignite his interest in Fofana this month, as the Ivorian “phenom” – in the words of Zach Lowy – would undoubtedly represent an incredible addition to the Whites’ current central midfielders – especially for a very affordable fee of £35m.

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