Everton and West Ham have been dealt a major blow after one of their reported transfer targets – Udinese midfielder Seko Fofana – suffered a serious injury in the 1-1 draw against Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday.
The impressive 21-year-old, who used to be on Manchester City’s books, fractured his fibula against the Old Lady and has been ruled out for at least the rest of this season, but is likely to be missing for the start of the next campaign too.
Only at Saturday, Italian news outlet Calciomercato had linked the Frenchman with a return to the Premier League with the Toffees and the Hammers understood to be two of his admirers, but the duo may now need to look elsewhere in order to bolster their respective midfields.
— Seko Fofana (@SekoFofana) March 5, 2017
As we have seen with N’Golo Kante at Leicester – and now Chelsea – in recent times, central midfield can be a key area in modern football and every Premier League side will want to see if they can discover the next player that can make the same impact as the Frenchman has.
Apart from the obvious link of being the same nationality, Fofana has been a consistent performer in the middle of the park for Udinese this season, and while he can sit deep in midfield, he is also capable of playing a box-to-box role too – shown by the five goals he scored in 22 Serie A appearances this term.
With both Everton and West Ham struggling for goals from midfield at times, that would have been a particularly impressive stat for their scouts.
Well, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman was heavily linked with Feyenoord’s Tonny Vilhena during his time with Southampton, and the Dutchman could choose to turn his focus to the 22-year-old during the summer instead.
It is not a position that Slaven Bilic has been heavily linked with strengthening since the January transfer window closed, but someone like Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah could be on his list of targets.