The Ivorian striker was present in the stands at the City Ground as Graham Potter’s side opened 2023 with a frustrating Premier League draw against struggling opponents, seeing an early effort from Raheem Sterling deservedly cancelled out after the interval by former Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier.
The result left Chelsea sitting eighth in the Premier League and still seven points adrift of the top four with a tough league and FA Cup double-header to come next against Manchester City, stunting their green shoots of recovery after a 2-0 win over Bournemouth in midweek that had ended a dismal run of three straight defeats suffered before the World Cup break.
The Blues remain far from convincing away from Stamford Bridge this season, having won just three of their nine top-flight away matches in 2022/23 to date – and none since mid-October.
However, some optimism for Chelsea comes on the transfer front, with Standard Sport understanding that the club have now agreed a £33million deal with Monaco for centre-back Benoit Badiashile.
The France international, 21, will undergo a medical on Monday after agreeing a six-and-a-half year contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2029, having had just 18 months left on his current agreement at the Stade Louis II.
But despite the January transfer window being open for less than a day, Badiashile is far from the only player already to have agreed a move to Chelsea, who are also pursuing the likes of Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernandez of Benfica and continue to be linked with wantaway Atletico Madrid frontman Joao Felix.
The Blues also swooped for Molde forward Fofana in a deal believed to be worth between £8m-£10m, with the 20-year-old officially joining on Sunday.
Chelsea have also struck an £11m deal with Brazilian club Vasco da Gama for teenage midfielder Andrey Santos, with both he and Fofana seen as exciting prospects for the future.