Patrick Vieira’s influence on Seko Fofana is evident from the moment the ball lands in front of his feet. Once the former Manchester City youngster goes into one of those lung-busting forward thrusts, slamming aside opponents like a raging bull knocking aside antique Ming vases in one of his China shop rampages.
“Patrick Vieira has helped me progress every day,” said Fofana Sky Sports Back in 2015 he hailed the legendary Arsenal captain for passing his knowledge on to one of his most promising Etihad campus students.
“He was a big player in my position so his advice is good. He knows how to get the best out of the group and I think he has the quality you need to be a great coach.”
Fofana would never feature in Manchester City’s first-team colors as his path to the first-team was blocked by another of his idols – a certain Yaya Toure.
However, after four years at Udinese and two at Lens, the now 26-year-old Ivory Coast international has developed enough that it seems only a matter of time before he makes his mark at club, if not quite at the level from City, then a rung or two down the football ladder.
Back to England?
Aston Villa, Leicester City, Newcastle, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur are just some of the clubs interested in Fofana, a formidable force of nature at the heart of a coupon-smashing Lens side. Fofana was named Get France Football News’ 2021 Player of the Year for good reason – ahead of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Co.
“I think it was an easy decision in the end,” explains the site’s lead writer, Adam White.
“He’s been the most consistent top player in Ligue 1. He manages to be midfield enforcer, creator and dynamo all at the same time. It’s pretty incredible.”
However, the fact that Crystal Palace are yet to be linked with Fofana’s own move is, to quote White, “pretty incredible”. And not just because Vieira is now on the Selhurst Park sidelines.
It’s no secret that, like Aston Villa and Leicester, Palace are aiming for an all-action midfield dynamo, with 30-year veterans Cheikhou Kouyate, James McArthur and Luka Milovojevic facing an uncertain future. What’s more, the Eagles have even held talks with Fofana’s midfield partner, £16million Cheick Doucoure.
Fofana is finally getting the attention he deserves from the wider football public. Certainly Crystal Palace will be the next to recognize his talents.
In other news, Conte says he has some really ‘good news’ for Spurs fans
https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/22/patrick-vieira-must-reunite-with-incredible-14m-ace-at-crystal-palace/ Patrick Vieira is set to reunite with the ‘incredible’ £14m ace at Crystal Palace