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Fofana off?

TopFox

Non-Member
As Hackney says, this idea that our ‘model’ is to sell a prized asset for big money every 1/2 years is a myth. Those sales were imposed on us, not part of a strategy.
I disagree.
It may not be written in so many words above the front door, but how else do you explain the oft-repeated lines in multiple interviews and articles about us being "a great learning club for promising young players" / a club that "won't stand in the way of such players moving onwards and upwards when the time is right and the price offered is right" / a club that we recognise can't compete with the BCCs when the best of our players are reaching their prime" / a club that "won't sell multiple start players at the same time" / a club that "buys wisely with the intention of making significant profit a few years later that can be reinvested in the playing squad" / etc etc etc?
Or put it another way – without selling a player for big money each year, what is the strategy for being able to invest and progress when we spend more than 100% of turnover on running the club month to month? The 8000 extra seats?
 

hackneyfox

Roofer
A loss of £100,000,000 over 2 years

The numbers don't lie whatever Hackney says.
Did I question the numbers? Haven’t most clubs been hit hard over the last two years?
Just reiterated what Clapham had said elsewhere that we don’t have a business plan that means we sell a top player every year.
 

ClaphamFox

Roofer
I disagree.
It may not be written in so many words above the front door, but how else do you explain the oft-repeated lines in multiple interviews and articles about us being "a great learning club for promising young players" / a club that "won't stand in the way of such players moving onwards and upwards when the time is right and the price offered is right" / a club that we recognise can't compete with the BCCs when the best of our players are reaching their prime" / a club that "won't sell multiple start players at the same time" / a club that "buys wisely with the intention of making significant profit a few years later that can be reinvested in the playing squad" / etc etc etc?
Or put it another way – without selling a player for big money each year, what is the strategy for being able to invest and progress when we spend more than 100% of turnover on running the club month to month? The 8000 extra seats?
Maybe the plan was to improve the team as much as possible by holding onto our best players in the hope that we would become one of the BCCs - or at least as close to being one as possible? Put it this way: if Kante, Mahrez, Magurie and Chilwell hadn't pushed for their moves, would the club have gone to any of them and said, "Sorry - we need to sell you to balance the books"? I don't think so. I think they'd all still be with us if they were happy to stay. And if Kante and Mahrez in particular had stayed, I think we'd have had at least a couple more Champions League campaigns over the past few years, which would have given us the kind of revenues we need to operate at a higher level.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
Maybe the plan was to improve the team as much as possible by holding onto our best players in the hope that we would become one of the BCCs - or at least as close to being one as possible? Put it this way: if Kante, Mahrez, Magurie and Chilwell hadn't pushed for their moves, would the club have gone to any of them and said, "Sorry - we need to sell you to balance the books"? I don't think so. I think they'd all still be with us if they were happy to stay. And if Kante and Mahrez in particular had stayed, I think we'd have had at least a couple more Champions League campaigns over the past few years, which would have given us the kind of revenues we need to operate at a higher level.
Just can't see it myself. We don't play in a vacuum. Are you seriously saying that no clubs would have started dangling trebled wages in front of Kante after France won the World Cup, or in front of Mahrez, or in front of Maguire after his sterling World Cup goal as an Englishman? And / or that none of them would've been persuaded to move? And that the Club doesn't know full well that this is how the world of football operates?
Sure, we pay enough to keep the likes of Perez and Hamza, but I cannot accept that we could possibly have kept the stars who left. We were lucky to keep JV (thanks partly to his unique gratitude and loyalty based on his unique background) but the idea that we could have kept all of them is illogical, clapham.
So I keep arriving back at a managed strategy of limiting the damage to one sale per summer, at a price commensurate with other circumstances (eg hanging around airports, going awol, refusing to sign a new contract, making clear the desire to go whilst remaining professional, release clauses, etc).
 

hackneyfox

Roofer
Just can't see it myself. We don't play in a vacuum. Are you seriously saying that no clubs would have started dangling trebled wages in front of Kante after France won the World Cup, or in front of Mahrez, or in front of Maguire after his sterling World Cup goal as an Englishman? And / or that none of them would've been persuaded to move? And that the Club doesn't know full well that this is how the world of football operates?
Sure, we pay enough to keep the likes of Perez and Hamza, but I cannot accept that we could possibly have kept the stars who left. We were lucky to keep JV (thanks partly to his unique gratitude and loyalty based on his unique background) but the idea that we could have kept all of them is illogical, clapham.
So I keep arriving back at a managed strategy of limiting the damage to one sale per summer, at a price commensurate with other circumstances (eg hanging around airports, going awol, refusing to sign a new contract, making clear the desire to go whilst remaining professional, release clauses, etc).
There’s a difference between losing players because they’ve been offered obscene wages and having a business model which means we choose to sell a top player every season.
 

hackneyfox

Roofer
He's going, end of. It's just a case of how much. £85m I reckon.
Same as Tielemans, Arsenal will get him next week.
Just hope we spend it wisely
If Chelsea paid £65m for a left back they don’t really need and £100m for a striker the manager doesn’t want then we should rinse the muppets for a lot more than £85m.
If they were serious they’d have offered £85m plus Colwill with no buy back clause.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
There’s a difference between losing players because they’ve been offered obscene wages and having a business model which means we choose to sell a top player every season.
Choose to. Or accept that it's inevitably going to happen, and do it on our own terms. Semantics.
All that seems increasingly clear is that when we don't (eg 2021), things don't look so rosy. Like when a long-term important strategy fails, in fact.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
If Chelsea paid £65m for a left back they don’t really need and £100m for a striker the manager doesn’t want then we should rinse the muppets for a lot more than £85m.
If they were serious they’d have offered £85m plus Colwill with no buy back clause.
And now Colwill's off to Brighton on loan for a year. Wonder if they can recall him (to sell him)?
 

ClaphamFox

Roofer
Just can't see it myself. We don't play in a vacuum. Are you seriously saying that no clubs would have started dangling trebled wages in front of Kante after France won the World Cup, or in front of Mahrez, or in front of Maguire after his sterling World Cup goal as an Englishman? And / or that none of them would've been persuaded to move? And that the Club doesn't know full well that this is how the world of football operates?
Sure, we pay enough to keep the likes of Perez and Hamza, but I cannot accept that we could possibly have kept the stars who left. We were lucky to keep JV (thanks partly to his unique gratitude and loyalty based on his unique background) but the idea that we could have kept all of them is illogical, clapham.
So I keep arriving back at a managed strategy of limiting the damage to one sale per summer, at a price commensurate with other circumstances (eg hanging around airports, going awol, refusing to sign a new contract, making clear the desire to go whilst remaining professional, release clauses, etc).
What you're describing isn't a model but a damage limitation exercise borne of necessity Those players left because other clubs dangled those vast wage increases in front of them and we couldn't compete - but that does not mean it was always our plan to sell those players. If when Man City came calling for Mahrez, he'd said, "You know what? I love it at Leicester and I'll carry on playing here on £140k per week rather than £300k per week at Man City," do you honestly think we'd have tried to force him to make the move? Of course we wouldn't - we'd have been thrilled to keep him.

Unfortunately for us, most players will seek to leave when vastly inflated wages are available elsewhere. Limiting the loss of major stars to one a summer may be a pragmatic 'managed strategy', but it's one that is forced upon us. It's not a model that we've chosen - it's just prudent risk management.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
If Chelsea paid £65m for a left back they don’t really need and £100m for a striker the manager doesn’t want then we should rinse the muppets for a lot more than £85m.
If they were serious they’d have offered £85m plus Colwill with no buy back clause.
Cucarella is a significant upgrade on Chilwell IMHO. Did Alonso leave too? Plus it stops anyone else having him, which has often seemed to be part of CFC's transfer strategy.
 

hackneyfox

Roofer
Cucarella is a significant upgrade on Chilwell IMHO. Did Alonso leave too? Plus it stops anyone else having him, which has often seemed to be part of CFC's transfer strategy.
He may be an upgrade, my point was that if they’re paying £65m for a player they don’t need then we should be looking for a lot more than £85m for a player they do need.
They’ve turned into a clown club under this new owner who just wants to throw money around to prove a point. Rinse them or even better refuse to sell Fofana.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
What you're describing isn't a model but a damage limitation exercise borne of necessity Those players left because other clubs dangled those vast wage increases in front of them and we couldn't compete - but that does not mean it was always our plan to sell those players. If when Man City came calling for Mahrez, he'd said, "You know what? I love it at Leicester and I'll carry on playing here on £140k per week rather than £300k per week at Man City," do you honestly think we'd have tried to force him to make the move? Of course we wouldn't - we'd have been thrilled to keep him.

Unfortunately for us, most players will seek to leave when vastly inflated wages are available elsewhere. Limiting the loss of major stars to one a summer may be a pragmatic 'managed strategy', but it's one that is forced upon us. It's not a model that we've chosen - it's just prudent risk management.
Call it what you will, that's fine by me.
Forced, chosen, reluctantly chosen, grudgingly recognised there's n alternative, etc – whatever, it's simply what LCFC do in the real world. As agreed to by the very people responsible for keeping the Club solvent. It's a model or plan or strategy borne of necessity, I'm sure. But who is free to simply choose an ideological business model that isn't grounded in necessities??
And what's the alternative when, as I say, we elect to spend over 100% of turnover on running the ship.
Rodgers says it again today at his PC – without specifically upsetting fans by saying "yes, so-and-so is for sale for £x price".
I think a lot of people would point the finger at the club for being naive and out of touch if they had a business model that relied on young footballers and their agents / families not behaving in the way that sought-after star players the world over behave.
Maybe I'm not enough of a fan, to be so disloyal to the lovely idea that we don't realise the need to sell to survive. I'll accept that.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
He may be an upgrade, my point was that if they’re paying £65m for a player they don’t need then we should be looking for a lot more than £85m for a player they do need.
They’ve turned into a clown club under this new owner who just wants to throw money around to prove a point. Rinse them or even better refuse to sell Fofana.
I'd always be happy to see clubs relieve chelsea of their money, don't get me wrong. I don't follow their activity closely enough to know if "clown" is fair, but most BCCs feel their needs are rather different to how others perceive their needs to be.
But Fofana forced his move to us, and will do the same again when he feels like it. I'm pretty sure of that. That could lower the price (bit like Mahrezs move) so it'll probably be a tricky timing call for the club at some point in the next year or two.
 

hackneyfox

Roofer
I'd always be happy to see clubs relieve chelsea of their money, don't get me wrong. I don't follow their activity closely enough to know if "clown" is fair, but most BCCs feel their needs are rather different to how others perceive their needs to be.
But Fofana forced his move to us, and will do the same again when he feels like it. I'm pretty sure of that. That could lower the price (bit like Mahrezs move) so it'll probably be a tricky timing call for the club at some point in the next year or two.
Anyone who thought Fofana didn’t see us as a stepping stone was deluded. Telling though that when he scored his goal on his return against Rennes that he ran to Rodgers to celebrate and had now signed a new 5 year contract. Perhaps he’s a better person now and is showing his appreciation of a manager and club that have supported him. I hope we’ll get at least another season from him and then sell him abroad for a new record fee.
 

TopFox

Non-Member
Anyone who thought Fofana didn’t see us as a stepping stone was deluded. Telling though that when he scored his goal on his return against Rennes that he ran to Rodgers to celebrate and had now signed a new 5 year contract. Perhaps he’s a better person now and is showing his appreciation of a manager and club that have supported him. I hope we’ll get at least another season from him and then sell him abroad for a new record fee.
That seems like the best outcome.
Better not sack BFR in October then and upset him...:D
 

OldFox

Non-Member
Too many posts for me to study carefully but since we sold the Doog I've always been sad to lose good players but the club we love carries on. In the words of Carole King, there'll be good times again.
 

bnet

Roofer
The question being really is, why do they want to leave ?

Its because we are not Champions League material. We need a bigger ground for a start, then we need a better manager. All you lot raving about finishing 8th shows how some might view the club, small time with no believe in being a top 4 club. The mentality is wrong. If 8th is a good finish, then the top players are not going to settle for that, l wouldn't. Everything starts in your head, if your ambition doesn't match the clubs, you're gonna want to find a club that as the same ambition as you.

We need to start acting like a big club first of all. Fake it 'til you make it !

Our biggest crime was letting Claudio think that it was him alone that won the league and his ego ran away with itself. He was top rate, but with flaws of which we should have managed, then success would have continued.

Get rid of this small time attitude that too many fans have.
 

DagenhamFox

Blue Roofer
I’ve said before we are doing all of this with one hand tied behind our back.

Chelsea, Man City and the rest will always be able to offer more wages. They will also say the player has much more chance of winning trophies than they do at Leicester, even given our recent streak. Same goes for Champions League / European football, history shows that the big 6 clubs qualify year in and year out whereas we‘re just having a purple patch.

We know we cannot compete so we do things our way. And that way is usually to sell a player or two to fund additional investment. It might not be what we want to happen but we’d be naive to build our business plan around always keeping all of our top players when we know full well that the players agents will easily dangle double wages and the rest in front of their clients.

The other clubs know this, they see us as a major threat so they will leave serious bids until the last minute to weaken us. To give us no time to replace these players. To harm our chance of mixing it at the top with them.

I don’t want to see Tielemans leave us. I’d rather have him for a further year and leave next summer on a free. I’d more want him to sign a contract extension for a year or two, whatever we can persuade him to sign. I definitely don’t want to lose Fofana either.
 

ClaphamFox

Roofer
I’ve said before we are doing all of this with one hand tied behind our back.

Chelsea, Man City and the rest will always be able to offer more wages. They will also say the player has much more chance of winning trophies than they do at Leicester, even given our recent streak. Same goes for Champions League / European football, history shows that the big 6 clubs qualify year in and year out whereas we‘re just having a purple patch.

We know we cannot compete so we do things our way. And that way is usually to sell a player or two to fund additional investment. It might not be what we want to happen but we’d be naive to build our business plan around always keeping all of our top players when we know full well that the players agents will easily dangle double wages and the rest in front of their clients.

The other clubs know this, they see us as a major threat so they will leave serious bids until the last minute to weaken us. To give us no time to replace these players. To harm our chance of mixing it at the top with them.

I don’t want to see Tielemans leave us. I’d rather have him for a further year and leave next summer on a free. I’d more want him to sign a contract extension for a year or two, whatever we can persuade him to sign. I definitely don’t want to lose Fofana either.
If Arsenal come in at the end of the transfer window with a £15m bid for Tielemens I really hope we tell them where to stick it.
 

Yorkfox

Roofer
Copies from 'that other place' in turn from the telegraph:

Wesley Fofana exclusive: 'I want to win trophies and be the best defender in the world'​

Leicester City defender looking to make up for lost time and get on France manager Didier Deschamp's radar ahead of World Cup
Wesley Fofana has a lot on his mind. A new season is looming large for Leicester City, his name is at the centre of a swirl of speculation around interest from Chelsea, and there is the small matter of a winter World Cup hoving into view.
It is some in-tray. Yet in many ways Fofana has been preparing for these kinds of moments all his life. The French defender is widely hailed as a generational talent, long coveted by Europe's top clubs since he first started impressing at Saint Etienne's academy as a teenager, so nothing is likely to faze him.
He is human, though. The 21-year-old is still awaiting his first senior cap for France, and Didier Deschamps is hardly short of options in his position. Fofana even laughs as we reel off some of the names in contention to make the squad for Qatar as we sit down to talk at Leicester's sparkling new training centre - Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamenco, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Rafael Varane, William Saliba, Kurt Zouma. It is, as Fofana admits, a "crazy" embarrassment of riches.
Even so, the chance to break into the set-up on the biggest stage the game has to offer is, understandably, occupying his thoughts.
“I’d be lying if I said the World Cup wasn’t on my mind, because it’s a big objective for me," he says. “I’m French and of course I want to represent my national team. I realise the coach has his own ideas and a team already in place but I really want to be there. Every player has to work hard - if they are a little lazy for their club, they will be left out."
There is, of course, a question about which club Fofana will be representing by the time Qatar rolls around. Chelsea have made little secret of their admiration in him, and their new owners are determined to crank up their transfer business in what remains of the transfer window. Such interest may be hard to resist; equally, it would not be surprising to see Fofana stay and hone his talents in the east midlands for another year.
There is certainly no sense that he is unhappy at the club - he has recently stopped taking English lessons and is feeling absolutely at home with his team-mates, even travelling to away games when he was injured last season to support them. And Leicester are more than happy with him: his manager, Brendan Rodgers, has said he can be one of the world's best defenders. It would be no surprise if he ultimately became the world's most expensive defender; just maybe not this summer.
I remind him of Rodgers' comments and ask how he feels being described in such terms. “When he [Rodgers] said that it obviously adds extra pressure but it has to be the aim for any player," he insists. “I want to not only win trophies but try to be the best defender in my position in the world."
Fofana aims high with his role models. He is a fan of Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly, but as a child he watched "loads of videos of Maldini. He always had time [mimics smoking a cigar]. Sergio Ramos as well, I liked his character and bite and how he wanted to hurt the opposition."
Fofana is on a mission to make up for lost time after missing most of last season with the first serious injury of his career.
In Leicester’s final pre-season friendly, against Villarreal, Fofana was tackled from behind by forward Fer Nino, sustaining a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle. Rodgers described the challenge as “horrendous”.
Staff around the tunnel area that night can still recall Fofana screaming in agony as he was stretchered off.
It was a moment which arguably wrecked Leicester’s season before it even started, leaving them with little time to find a proper replacement with funds limited.
A year later, Fofana reflects on the incident with maturity. “After going through such a terrible injury you can almost turn it into a motivational thing,” he says.
“I can look back at it on video now with no problems. You can turn negatives into positives and that’s what I’ve done. Out of bad comes good and I’ve come through it. It makes you stronger.
“I had a text message the day after [from Nino], but there has been no contact since. There are no hard feelings.
“We play a contact sport and everyone is going 100 per cent and these things happen. If we come up against each other again it will be a battle and no holding back, but with hopefully no bones broken!”
Fofana did eventually return in March, signing a new five-year contract that same month, in the Europa Conference Round of 16 second leg against Rennes, and it was an evening he will never forget.
Leicester’s resilient performance was epitomised by the outstanding Fofana, who also scored the winning goal from a corner [his first for the club].
Fofana ran over to celebrate with Rodgers in what was the image of a difficult season.
“It was one of the greatest matches of my life. There was also relief and frustration, because I was supposed to play in the first leg the week before but got Covid,” he says.
“It was even more special being in France. All my family travelled six hours up to Rennes and to score such an important goal made it even more memorable.
“I ran to the management and staff to celebrate because they never let me go for a minute during the seven months [injured]. They were with me every step of the way.”
Fofana did play a further 11 games in the season, instantly adding security to Leicester’s defence alongside Jonny Evans.
“I feel absolutely brand new with no pain at all. Sometimes you can still pick up little injuries after a long time out but I’m doing everything to avoid that,” he says.
“It was a big injury to get over but I think I came back pretty quickly. The games I played at the end of last season have set me up for this season, which will be a long and challenging one.”
Family is a huge part of Fofana’s life, and this summer he married his long-time girlfriend Cyrine in Monaco.
He was back in France last month for the Grand Prix in Le Castellet - Formula One, along with rugby union and basketball, is a passion. The track is 44 miles away from where he grew up in the tiny village of Vitrolles, though the race was an experience tinged with disappointment.
“Lewis [Hamilton] was so close, I thought he was going to do it [Hamilton finished second behind Max Verstappen]. “I love Formula 1 and he’s one of my favourite sportsmen.
“He has the personality, it’s not just the driving. He says things from the heart that other people don’t dare to say. He is always true to himself and I really admire him.”
Fofana is now preparing for the new season and shakes his head when he reflects on how much he has crammed into the past three years.
He only made his first-team debut in Saint-Etienne in May 2019 and still has an affinity with the club, admitting their relegation from Ligue 1 last season “hurt me deep in my heart.”
He says: I consider myself very fortunate. I’ve played more games here in England than I ever did for St-Etienne. Now I’ve made this journey I want to enjoy every minute. Many others have not been so lucky to be in my position.
“Leicester is a family and I have felt that from the first day. I have always felt like a native of Leicester.
“It’s a big club and an institution but everyone has time for each other and understands. We are all brothers, sisters and cousins.”
Jamie Vardy keeps him on his toes. “he’s an incredible player but this guy is also crazy! For the team he lifts everyone. When he is not here you really notice. When moments are hard, he has the experience and personality to push everyone.
“On my first day he pulled me over and said ‘you are my little Wes’. Every day there are jokes in French or English. He’s a very good guy and my bro.”
Now onto this weekend and the visit of Brentford on Sunday.
“It’s a big season for me and for Leicester," he says. “here are already some great strikers in the Premier League and even more for this season after the transfer window. That excites me and I’m ready for them. I’m prepared.”
 

Daz40

Roofer
The question being really is, why do they want to leave ?

Its because we are not Champions League material. We need a bigger ground for a start, then we need a better manager. All you lot raving about finishing 8th shows how some might view the club, small time with no believe in being a top 4 club. The mentality is wrong. If 8th is a good finish, then the top players are not going to settle for that, l wouldn't. Everything starts in your head, if your ambition doesn't match the clubs, you're gonna want to find a club that as the same ambition as you.

We need to start acting like a big club first of all. Fake it 'til you make it !

Our biggest crime was letting Claudio think that it was him alone that won the league and his ego ran away with itself. He was top rate, but with flaws of which we should have managed, then success would have continued.

Get rid of this small time attitude that too many fans have.
Success wouldn't of continued with CR. It's alright acting as a big club but financially we'll never be able to compete with the likes of Chelsea etc .
 

Daz40

Roofer
Copies from 'that other place' in turn from the telegraph:

Wesley Fofana exclusive: 'I want to win trophies and be the best defender in the world'​

Leicester City defender looking to make up for lost time and get on France manager Didier Deschamp's radar ahead of World Cup
Wesley Fofana has a lot on his mind. A new season is looming large for Leicester City, his name is at the centre of a swirl of speculation around interest from Chelsea, and there is the small matter of a winter World Cup hoving into view.
It is some in-tray. Yet in many ways Fofana has been preparing for these kinds of moments all his life. The French defender is widely hailed as a generational talent, long coveted by Europe's top clubs since he first started impressing at Saint Etienne's academy as a teenager, so nothing is likely to faze him.
He is human, though. The 21-year-old is still awaiting his first senior cap for France, and Didier Deschamps is hardly short of options in his position. Fofana even laughs as we reel off some of the names in contention to make the squad for Qatar as we sit down to talk at Leicester's sparkling new training centre - Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamenco, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Rafael Varane, William Saliba, Kurt Zouma. It is, as Fofana admits, a "crazy" embarrassment of riches.
Even so, the chance to break into the set-up on the biggest stage the game has to offer is, understandably, occupying his thoughts.
“I’d be lying if I said the World Cup wasn’t on my mind, because it’s a big objective for me," he says. “I’m French and of course I want to represent my national team. I realise the coach has his own ideas and a team already in place but I really want to be there. Every player has to work hard - if they are a little lazy for their club, they will be left out."
There is, of course, a question about which club Fofana will be representing by the time Qatar rolls around. Chelsea have made little secret of their admiration in him, and their new owners are determined to crank up their transfer business in what remains of the transfer window. Such interest may be hard to resist; equally, it would not be surprising to see Fofana stay and hone his talents in the east midlands for another year.
There is certainly no sense that he is unhappy at the club - he has recently stopped taking English lessons and is feeling absolutely at home with his team-mates, even travelling to away games when he was injured last season to support them. And Leicester are more than happy with him: his manager, Brendan Rodgers, has said he can be one of the world's best defenders. It would be no surprise if he ultimately became the world's most expensive defender; just maybe not this summer.
I remind him of Rodgers' comments and ask how he feels being described in such terms. “When he [Rodgers] said that it obviously adds extra pressure but it has to be the aim for any player," he insists. “I want to not only win trophies but try to be the best defender in my position in the world."
Fofana aims high with his role models. He is a fan of Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly, but as a child he watched "loads of videos of Maldini. He always had time [mimics smoking a cigar]. Sergio Ramos as well, I liked his character and bite and how he wanted to hurt the opposition."
Fofana is on a mission to make up for lost time after missing most of last season with the first serious injury of his career.
In Leicester’s final pre-season friendly, against Villarreal, Fofana was tackled from behind by forward Fer Nino, sustaining a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle. Rodgers described the challenge as “horrendous”.
Staff around the tunnel area that night can still recall Fofana screaming in agony as he was stretchered off.
It was a moment which arguably wrecked Leicester’s season before it even started, leaving them with little time to find a proper replacement with funds limited.
A year later, Fofana reflects on the incident with maturity. “After going through such a terrible injury you can almost turn it into a motivational thing,” he says.
“I can look back at it on video now with no problems. You can turn negatives into positives and that’s what I’ve done. Out of bad comes good and I’ve come through it. It makes you stronger.
“I had a text message the day after [from Nino], but there has been no contact since. There are no hard feelings.
“We play a contact sport and everyone is going 100 per cent and these things happen. If we come up against each other again it will be a battle and no holding back, but with hopefully no bones broken!”
Fofana did eventually return in March, signing a new five-year contract that same month, in the Europa Conference Round of 16 second leg against Rennes, and it was an evening he will never forget.
Leicester’s resilient performance was epitomised by the outstanding Fofana, who also scored the winning goal from a corner [his first for the club].
Fofana ran over to celebrate with Rodgers in what was the image of a difficult season.
“It was one of the greatest matches of my life. There was also relief and frustration, because I was supposed to play in the first leg the week before but got Covid,” he says.
“It was even more special being in France. All my family travelled six hours up to Rennes and to score such an important goal made it even more memorable.
“I ran to the management and staff to celebrate because they never let me go for a minute during the seven months [injured]. They were with me every step of the way.”
Fofana did play a further 11 games in the season, instantly adding security to Leicester’s defence alongside Jonny Evans.
“I feel absolutely brand new with no pain at all. Sometimes you can still pick up little injuries after a long time out but I’m doing everything to avoid that,” he says.
“It was a big injury to get over but I think I came back pretty quickly. The games I played at the end of last season have set me up for this season, which will be a long and challenging one.”
Family is a huge part of Fofana’s life, and this summer he married his long-time girlfriend Cyrine in Monaco.
He was back in France last month for the Grand Prix in Le Castellet - Formula One, along with rugby union and basketball, is a passion. The track is 44 miles away from where he grew up in the tiny village of Vitrolles, though the race was an experience tinged with disappointment.
“Lewis [Hamilton] was so close, I thought he was going to do it [Hamilton finished second behind Max Verstappen]. “I love Formula 1 and he’s one of my favourite sportsmen.
“He has the personality, it’s not just the driving. He says things from the heart that other people don’t dare to say. He is always true to himself and I really admire him.”
Fofana is now preparing for the new season and shakes his head when he reflects on how much he has crammed into the past three years.
He only made his first-team debut in Saint-Etienne in May 2019 and still has an affinity with the club, admitting their relegation from Ligue 1 last season “hurt me deep in my heart.”
He says: I consider myself very fortunate. I’ve played more games here in England than I ever did for St-Etienne. Now I’ve made this journey I want to enjoy every minute. Many others have not been so lucky to be in my position.
“Leicester is a family and I have felt that from the first day. I have always felt like a native of Leicester.
“It’s a big club and an institution but everyone has time for each other and understands. We are all brothers, sisters and cousins.”
Jamie Vardy keeps him on his toes. “he’s an incredible player but this guy is also crazy! For the team he lifts everyone. When he is not here you really notice. When moments are hard, he has the experience and personality to push everyone.
“On my first day he pulled me over and said ‘you are my little Wes’. Every day there are jokes in French or English. He’s a very good guy and my bro.”
Now onto this weekend and the visit of Brentford on Sunday.
“It’s a big season for me and for Leicester," he says. “here are already some great strikers in the Premier League and even more for this season after the transfer window. That excites me and I’m ready for them. I’m prepared.”
Unfortunately from that first season with us, he was always going to be too good for us to keep.
 

Brizzlfox

Roofer
I think some people are forgetting that it took Mahrez the best part of two years from first expressing a desire to leave before he was actually allowed to depart. The club are not afraid of saying no to both big-money clubs (at least for a while) and talented players under contract at Leicester - even at the risk of player disgruntlement. Whilst acknowledging the (eventual) irresistible financial power of the 'elite', apart from Kante, most of the big-name departures have been on our terms (particularly in the sense of timing) and for amounts that were dictated by our club. It would be surprising if, having made pretty unequivocal statements concerning both Fofana and Madison, that the club would then sell these assets at anything short of an astronomically inflated transfer fee. I can't see it happening...
 
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