1. FC Union Berlin have signed David Datro Fofana from Chelsea FC for the 2023/24 season. The Ivorian will join the team on loan for one year.
From West Africa to the Western Norwegian coast
Fofana’s footballing journey started in his native Ivory Coast. He was born in the footballing hotspot of Ouragahio from where he first went the couple of hundred kilometres to a football academy in Abidjan on the Atlantic coast, before as a teenager moving on to AFAD Djékanou, a noted academy for youth players. His performances there subsequently found his name appearing on more and more foreign scouting reports, so the then 18-year-old ventured abroad in February 2021, to Norway’s successful Molde FK.
Fofana played 65 games for the five-time Norwegian champions and won a title in his first season away from the Ivory Coast. Eight years after their last silverwear, Molde FK won the Norwegian Cup for the first time. As a flexible and adaptable attacking presence Fofana played himself into the first team squad, particularly in the 2022 Eliteserien (Norway's first division) title race. In 24 league games he shone with 15 goals and five assists, playing a major role in winning the championship.
And on to the West of London
David continued to make a name for himself and after two years at Molde he headed for the bright lights of west London. Chelsea Football Club moved for the young international earlier this year, but he was rarely played in the second half of the 2022/23 season. The newcomer made three short appearances in the Premier League and was restricted to only 45 minutes of playing time in the FA Cup. Two games with Chelsea FC's U21s in Premier League 2 (the English U21’s top flight) were enough for David to score his first goal in the birthplaceof football, the equaliser in a 3-1 win against Liverpool’s U21 side.
Three facts about David:
- David won the Morocco Challenge 23 as captain with the Ivory Coast U23s.
- In his very first game for Molde FK, David scored against TSG Hoffenheim in the UEFA Europa League Intermediate Round.
- 10 of his 25 goals so far as a professional have been match-winners.
Views on the transfer:
"Union have developed extremely strongly in the last few years and it excites me a lot to be a part of this in the coming season,” said Fofana on his move to Berlin. “The club has made a long and hard effort to find me and now I want to repay that with good performances."
"David's speed and his flexible offensive qualities are highly interesting for us,” said Union’s managing director of men’s professional football, Oliver Ruhnert, on the loan deal. “We want another goal-scoring player who will give our attacking game additional impetus."