‘Most teams in England’ could pile onto pursuit for Newcastle-linked Ligue 1 star

Seko Fofana, Neymar, Lens, PSG, May 2021 Credit: Alamy
Seko Fofana, Neymar, Lens, PSG, May 2021 Credit: Alamy

A French football expert feels “most teams in England” could soon join the pursuit of Newcastle-linked midfielder Seko Fofana.

Fofana joined his current club, Lens, the season after they were promoted from Ligue 2. He had an impressive season for Italian side Udinese prior to his move, contributing to 10 Serie A goals in 32 games.

He slotted into the Lens team nicely. While he spent a couple of spells on the sidelines, he helped them to seventh, contributing to six goals over the course of the season.

In the last campaign, he levelled up his attacking prowess. Indeed, Fofana scored 10 goals in all competitions – eight of those goals coming in Ligue 1 and two in the Coupe de France.

He was only outscored for Lens by striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, who scored 13 times. The forward was rewarded with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, while Fofana stayed put.

There were reports linking him to a move away from Lens, though.

Newcastle United, Tottenham and Aston Villa were among those reportedly keen to take Fofana from Lens.

However, nothing materialised, and the French side have been stronger for that. After a second seventh-placed finish in two seasons last term, they are now challenging at the top end of the table.

Lens are second, five points behind league leaders PSG, and Fofana has been directly involved in five league goals so far.

Lens could lose out on Fofana

While things are going well, French football journalist Robin Bairner feels Fofana could seek an exit if Lens don’t secure European football.

“If Lens make the Champions League this year, for example, you could see a player like Seko Fofana staying there, simply because of this bond that they’ve got,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

He named Newcastle as a side that might be interested if he does move on. Indeed, they were one of the sides from the Premier League that were linked with the midfielder last season.

“If they [Lens] don’t make the top three, then again, potentially next summer, this could be a move that happens. Fofana is a player who has all the attributes to play in England, and Newcastle would surely be interested,” he said.

Signing Fofana would follow the pattern of Newcastle transfers of late. The Magpies have signed solid players who have impressed over the last few years, but are not massive, household names.

While Fofana might thrive at Newcastle, as so many of their recent signings have, things might not be that simple.

Premier League-wide battle could commence

Indeed, Bairner feels a host of English sides might become interested in him.

“But I imagine he is a player that most teams in England would be interested in, given what he’s produced. But again, it’s a case of whether Lens can keep up with his ambitions,” he added.

Given Fofana is 27, he should be entering his prime years. As such, continuing to impress this season could well mean his list of suitors grows.

However, whether that does happen remains to be seen. He might well stay at Lens, as Bairner says, if they continue on their good run.

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