Five seasons ago, Wes Morgan etched his name into Leicester City folklore as the heartbeat of a team which defied the odds to clinch the Premier League title.

Now, there’s a new Wes in town pining to do the very same thing.

Fofana has been a revelation for the Foxes this season

Getty Images – Getty

Fofana has been a revelation for the Foxes this season

Wesley Fofana’s seamless transition from Ligue 1 to the Premier League has been nothing short of remarkable.

At just 20, the Frenchman has been a standout performer in Brendan Rodgers’ high-flying side as the Foxes again look to disrupt the established order.

Eyebrows were raised when the relatively-unknown defender arrived at the King Power from St.Etienne for a hefty £36million fee.

The transfer saw him become fourth-most expensive French teenager in history, behind only Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Ousmane Dembele.

But at the halfway stage of the campaign and with Rodgers’ men just two points adrift of the top-flight summit, there’s a convincing case to suggest he’s been the signing of the season.

Assured, alert to danger, comfortable on the ball, it is hard to believe Fofana has played less than 35 league games in his career.

Leicester splashed out a huge fee for Fofana, but he’s looked worth every penny

Getty – Pool

Leicester splashed out a huge fee for Fofana, but he’s looked worth every penny

Fofana has made the Premier League look easy but it’s clear he’s not the type of character to get carried away.

talkSPORT.com caught up with Leicester’s newest sensation earlier this week and he was keen to point out the part his teammates, and the club, have played in his fine start to life at the King Power.

“I’ve settled in really well here and it’s thanks to the club and the players who’ve really helped me to adapt to life and welcome me to the group,” he said.

“Everyone’s done everything they could for it to be a success and I have too.

“I was determined to come here and to make a success of this, because this is where I wanted to play my football.”

Fofana was seen as a long-term acquisition by Leicester, but injury to Caglar Soyuncu propelled him into the spotlight and he has seized his opportunity with aplomb.

Soyuncu was last season’s hero, but the Turk now faces a challenge to relegate Fofana to the sidelines due to the imperious partnership the youngster has formed with Jonny Evans at the back.

Fofana, however, is relishing the competition that Soyuncu is bringing to the table – even if it may pose a threat to his first team minutes.

Soyuncu stepped up for Leicester last season in Harry Maguire’s absence

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Soyuncu stepped up for Leicester last season in Harry Maguire’s absence

“It’s great and something that’s already started since his return,” he said.

“It’s good for everyone when there’s that healthy competition. Everybody improves and progresses and everybody tries their absolute best.

“It’s something that we’re going to work on, but we’re all happy with the situation and let’s hope we can all improve.”

Fofana, who is of Malian descent but grew up in Marseille, started his career as a forward and idolised Didier Drogba as a kid.

His desire to succeed was so strong that he’s admitted to regularly telling his sister he was certain to make it when was a ten-year-old.

He regularly skipped school to practice, whilst his confidence in defence earned him the nickname ‘The Rock’ during his early years as a professional.

And despite arriving in England as a teenager just six months ago, Fofana has already been tipped to become one of Europe’s best defenders.

He has been labelled ‘absolutely colossal’ by his boss, while Watford captain Troy Deeney on talkSPORT backed him to have an influence similar to Virgil van Dijk, who helped transform Liverpool into champions following his arrival from Southampton in 2018.

Fofana has been tipped to be the next Van Dijk

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Fofana has been tipped to be the next Van Dijk

Fofana, however, has dismissed the comparisons to the Dutchman and is intent on cementing his own legacy.

“It’s incredibly nice to hear that sort of thing, but one thing’s for sure, I’m not going to be the next Van Dijk.” Fofana said.

“I have my own career and I’m going to do it my own way and do the best for me.

“Of course I’m  really happy to hear people say those things and make comparisons with such a great defender like Van Dijk.

“I try not to pay too much attention to those comparisons, I just focus on my own performances.”

It’s easy to pick out Fofana’s composure on the ball and ability to lead beyond his years as his standout qualities, but the numbers show he has some of the best stats of any defender in the division.

He has made fifth most interceptions (37) in the division and ranks in the top 10 per cent of defenders for aerial duels won in a side which has contributed the joint-fourth most clean sheets in the top-flight.

Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring against Tottenham

Vardy often grabs the plaudits at Leicester but their team is full of quality players

While James Maddison and Jamie Vardy often steal the headlines for their electric attacking displays, with the duo having conjured up 24 goal involvements between them this season, Fofana believes the collective effort of the whole team allows the individuals to shine.

It’s this mentality that has made him confident that the Foxes can sustain their title challenge.

“We have the team to go all the way. Absolutely.” Fofana declared.

“It’s not just about individuals here, it’s about the collective and when the team plays together, the individuals can shine.

“Of course, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy help us out when things get tough and they’ve shown that already this season.

Rodgers is building something brilliant at Leicester


Rodgers is building something brilliant at Leicester

“With this team, we can achieve great things and we’re determined to do everything we can to do so.

“It’s true, there are other great teams as Brendan Rodgers has said.

“There are teams who are seen as bigger favourites for the title than we are. But we’re just going to concentrate on our game and try to win as many matches as possible and finish as high as we can.

“It doesn’t matter that people don’t pay as much attention for us – we’re just doing all we can to finish as high as we can.”

Leicester have been a joy to watch this season and after outplaying Chelsea last week, many are beginning to believe they really could do the unthinkable once again.

Fofana, under the ever-impressive leadership of Rodgers, and alongside the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Maddison and Vardy – have made the Foxes one of the most entertaining and balanced sides in the division.

A challenge for the title is certainly within the Leicester’s reach, but this time it would be no miracle. Wes certainly believes.

Everton vs Leicester is LIVE on talkSPORT this Wednesday as we bring you exclusive coverage of all TEN midweek Premier League games


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