Ligue 1 Uber Eats upstarts Racing Club de Lens have been a neutral fan favourite since their return to the top flight of French football in 2020, placing seventh and eighth in their two campaigns under manager Frank Haise.
But with their success in becoming a potential dark horse for European football has come unwanted yet expected attraction in the direction of key assets at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with Lens already being stripped this summer of the services of outstanding young central midfielder Cheick Doucouré (Crystal Palace) and French international right-back Jonathan Clauss (Olympique de Marseille).
Lens also paid the price last summer when they lost young centre-back Loïc Badé to Stade Rennais, with the Pas-des-Calais France outfit potentially sweating over the immediate future of captain Seko Fofana.
In quotes provided by Get French Football sourced from RMC Sport, Haise remains hopeful that Fofana, now 27 and beginning his prime playing years, will remain in the engine room in midfield in 2022-23.
“What is clear, and what I’ve been repeating in the past weeks is that Seko is very motivated, very committed to the pre-season preparations, to the team, and to the club. That much I am sure of because I see it on a daily basis. But the transfer window is the transfer window, and everything is still possible.”
Despite Lens securing the services of Clermont Foot’s Salis Abdul Samed to hopefully fill the void left in the wake of Doucouré's departure to Selhurst Park, the loss of one of Ligue 1′s brightest young talents and unquestionable key players at the club has left Haise educated in the notion that anything could still happen this summer when it comes to his captain.
“We’re prepared for every eventuality. We’re preparing with different associations. Seko is the motor of the team and I hope he will continue to be so for the team next season. If that isn’t the case, there are other players that work hard on a daily basis.”
Though French giants Paris Saint-Germain had previous interest in Fofana that has now cooled, it would be too early to assume that the Paris-born Ivorian international would fail to turn additional heads before the window slams shut.