Brendan Rodgers explains Wesley Fofana absence as Chelsea interest continues

Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2022 by PA

Brendan Rodgers explains Wesley Fofana absence as Chelsea interest continues

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has said Chelsea target Wesley Fofana was left out of the matchday squad after not turning up for first-team training last week and has been working with the under-23s.

Having been dropped from the squad for Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League loss to Southampton, with Rodgers saying the defender was not in the right frame of mind to play, Fofana was absent again on Tuesday as the Foxes edged into the Carabao Cup third round with a 3-1 win on penalties at Stockport.

Prior to the game it had been reported Leicester had turned down a third bird from Chelsea for Fofana, and Rodgers said in his post-match press conference: “There was an offer gone in and it’s been been rejected.

“Apart from that, I’m not 100 per cent on the other details, because we were focusing on the game.”

Rodgers went on to reveal the 21-year-old Frenchman last week “didn’t turn up for training one day – hence the reason for the weekend, not being involved”.

And he said: “He’s training with the under-23s so he can get his football fitness and keep working. It’s so important at this stage to control any sort of distractions that may be there.

“He’s a good kid, it’s just been a really challenging situation for him. I’ve had it a number of times in my career where there’s players who can deal with it, cope with it, get on, want to help their team-mates. There’s others that just can’t deal with with the distraction.

“Of course that distracts them and it’s not quite right, and they miss a training session, then you need the full commitment from your players.

“These guys get well paid. The very least you can do is turn up. And if you don’t, with all due respect, you can’t then just think you can walk into our group.

“But like I say, within day to day, he’s a good kid – it’s just been hard for him to deal with everything, and whilst he’s in that frame of mind, it’s been difficult for him to play.”

Rodgers added that while the situation regarding Fofana’s valuation was down to the club, he hoped for a quick resolution one way or another.

He said: “Of course if it (him leaving) happens, the sooner the better, because it might allow us to do some work (in the transfer window).”

After being admirably kept at bay by League Two Stockport over 90 minutes for a 0-0 draw, Leicester prevailed in a shootout that saw their debutant goalkeeper Daniel Iversen make three saves.

The hosts are currently 21st in the fourth tier, having returned to the Football League this term after an 11-year absence.

Hatters boss Dave Challinor said: “A brilliant night without the dream ending if you like, but really proud of the effort we’ve put in.

“Taking a Premier League team to penalties is a great achievement, just a pity we couldn’t go and make it an amazing night rather than a really good one.”


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