Chelsea v Fulham: Pictures
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Chelsea have reportedly decided that they will not allow David Datro Fofana to leave on loan, just weeks after his January arrival from Molde. Links to Galatasaray had gained traction with the Turkish transfer window still open until Wednesday, although it looks as though the Istanbul giants are set to go without.
Fofana was among a host of prospects recruited by Chelsea in January, with his goal-laden spell in Norway commanding a £10million transfer fee. The 20-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge with plenty of experience for his age, having netted 24 goals in 65 matches for Molde.
Despite fierce competition up top involving the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz, Fofana has seen first-team action already, getting 45 minutes to impress in the FA Cup against Manchester City and a brief cameo against Fulham last week.
According to Standard Sport, the Blues are not prepared to let the youngster leave on loan, despite links to Galatasaray persisting ahead of transfer deadline day in Turkey.
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Although Fofana arrived in west London only last month, sending him out on loan straight away to gain more senior experience would have been a viable option for the Blues. Joao Felix’s return from suspension is only set to increase the competition for minutes through the middle.
Armando Broja is currently out for the rest of the season through injury, but Fofana’s job of forcing his way into the first team could be even more difficult once he returns. Manager Graham Potter may therefore look to keep an eye on the new signing before deciding on an optimal course of action in the summer.
Chelsea evidently feel that Fofana is a player with the potential to make an impact in years to come, having handed him a whopping six-year contract with the option for an extra 12 months. Such lengthy deals have been a common feature of co-owner Todd Boehly’s reign, with the Blues aiming to spread the cost of transfers in order to stay within Financial Fair Play limits.
Fofana was an early arrival in January, with Boehly going on to splash more than £300m on eight signings, including a new British transfer record fee for Enzo Fernandez. With that, the Blues broke the record for amount spent by one club in a single window for the second time in just a few months.
Rival managers such as Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp were both baffled by the mammoth transfer outlay, but Potter bit back by claiming that ‘envy’ isn’t a good quality.
“You’re best to compare to yourself rather than somebody else because you don’t know the context or the situation,” he added. “I also understand that’s the world we’re in, and that’s fine by me. We’ve spent the money we’ve spent. The media aren’t going to let that go under the radar. I don’t worry about that.”
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