Arsenal will have to pay a figure in the region of €40m (£35m) in order to bring Seko Fofana to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who revealed in a recent article for CaughtOffside that, after being heavily linked with a move for the RC Lens central midfielder ahead of the winter market, Mikel Arteta’s side will have to fork out around £35m in order to land the 27-year-old – who is attracting the interest of a number of big clubs.
The transfer insider went on to state that, with the Ivory Coast international having recently appointed new representatives, the playmaker’s agency firm are currently working on a number of solutions ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.
In his article, Romano said: “There’s been some speculation in recent days linking Seko Fofana as a target for Arsenal. I don’t know yet where he’ll end up, but I can give my current understanding of his situation.
“Seko Fofana has a new agent now and he’s obviously working to find solutions for 2023. At the moment it is still early, nothing advanced; but he can be an opportunity not just for Premier League clubs, but also in other leagues. His price tag could be around €40m.”
Considering just how impressive Fofana has been for Lens since his move to the club back in the summer of 2020, coupled with central midfield arguably being the area of Mikel Arteta’s squad that is lacking the most depth, it is not difficult to see why Arsenal would be interested in a deal to bring the 27-year-old to north London this winter.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £26m-rated talent ranks in the top 14% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 7% for non-penalty xG, the top 2% for shots, the top 41% for assists and the top 26% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days – demonstrating his clear ability in the final third.
Furthermore, FBref also rank the £26k-per-week playmaker in the top 11% of midfielders for passes completed per 90, in addition to the top 7% for dribbles completed, the top 6% for touches in the opposition penalty area and the top 3% for progressive passes received over the last 12 months – highlighting his talent in possession of the ball, as well as his attacking inclination.
These metrics see the statistical database list the likes of Bernardo Silva and İlkay Gündoğan as Fofana’s most comparable players, however, it is perhaps another of Manchester City’s former midfielders, Yaya Toure, who is most similar to the 27-year-old stylistically.
Indeed, not only do both players hail from Ivory Coast and possess imposing physiques, but Toure’s trademark drive into the final third before either setting up a teammate or unleashing a shot himself is also one of Fofana’s defining characteristics.
As such, should Arteta manage to get a deal over the line for the player Zach Lowy labelled a “phenom” this winter, the Spaniard could well have landed his own Yaya at The Emirates, with the “relentless” Fofana undoubtedly representing a fantastic addition to the 40-year-old’s current options in the middle of the park.