HomeFootball NewsBlow For Chelsea As Wesley Fofana Ruptures ACL

Blow For Chelsea As Wesley Fofana Ruptures ACL

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Chelsea’s French international defender Wesley Fofana has suffered yet another injury blow with the news that he has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and undergone surgery.

A statement from the club confirmed that: “The 22-year-old did not travel to America for the club’s pre-season tour due to specialist medical assessments, which unfortunately confirmed that an operation would be required.

“Wesley will now begin his recovery and work with the club’s medical department at Cobham during his rehabilitation phase.”

Injury Woes

This is the latest setback for Fofana since he joined Chelsea on a seven-year contract after a £70m transfer from Leicester City in August 2022. It had been a painfully protracted transfer saga, but much more pain came his way when he suffered a major knee injury in a Champions League clash with AC Milan two months later.

Fofana had scored his first goal for Chelsea in that game, having already seen Thomas Tuchel depart Stamford Bridge just a week after signing him. However, the knee injury he picked up just before half-time meant that he missed much of new manager Graham Potter’s reign, only returning in February.

He had regained his place in the team by the time Chelsea beat Leeds and Leicester City in March, but those were his final league wins of a hugely disappointing first season. Due to his injury and Chelsea’s dire form for much of the campaign, Fofana ended up with as many league victories to his name as he had managers (four). 

The summer presented new reasons to be optimistic with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as his new manager at club level and a debut for the France national team against Gibraltar. However, suffering an ACL injury not only rules him out of the pre-season tour of the USA but also leaves him unlikely to play again this year.

He is no stranger to long-term injuries picked up in pre-season either, with his final season at Leicester City also badly impacted by a broken leg he suffered in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal. 

That ruled Fofana out for seven months, so his 2021-22 season didn’t begin until March. He bounced back strongly enough for the remainder of the campaign to earn his big-money move to Chelsea, but it will be a cause of some concern that at the age of 22 he has already missed so much action. 

Pochettino Plan

It’s yet another complication for Pochettino as he looks to firm up his plans for his first season at Chelsea. So far this summer has been a hectic one with four new signings coming in while 11 players have left, including Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz.

The Blues needed to trim down their squad for FFP – and for common sense – but with Thiago Silva turning 39 in a couple of months, Pochettino will not have wanted to lose Fofana as he looks to firm up a defence that conceded 47 goals in 38 league games last season.

He’s been able to sign Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku to try and solve Chelsea’s woeful scoring record, but may need to now consider whether reinforcements are needed in defence too.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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