Union Berlin sporting director Oliver Ruhnert has discussed loanee ’s difficult start to life in Germany but is still backing the youngster to come good.
The 20-year-old, who moved to Stamford Bridge last January, showed promise in a few cameo appearances at the end of the 2022-23 campaign and looked lively in .
But it was felt his development would be best served with consistent game time in a top league, with Union Berlin offering Fofana a regular role in the side.
Since moving to the Bundesliga, the Ivorian has featured in all seven of the club’s league outings as well as in the and DFB-Pokal Cup but is yet to register either a goal or an assist.
Union had been banking on Fofana hitting the ground running and have been hampered by the lack of firepower, losing five straight matches on the bounce and sitting in 13th place in the table – just two points above the drop.
But Ruhnert remains confident that Fofana will start to find his shooting boots and says the former Molde forward has had a few issues off the field to deal with.
‘Changing the results is not that easy for a young player,’ Ruhnert told German publication .
‘He has also had private problems at times. A little something came together.
‘He also lacks a goal to give him some self confidence but he is someone who can help us.’
Fofana has racked up 453 minutes of action for Union Berlin this season without scoring or assisting, though he is considered fourth-choice in the pecking order behind Kevin Behrens, Sheraldo Becker and Kevin Volland.
Explaining the decision to sign Fofana in the summer, Ruhnert said: ‘David’s speed and his flexible offensive qualities are highly interesting for us.
‘We want another goal-scoring player who will give our attacking game additional impetus.’
Fofana himself said of the move: ‘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.
‘The club has made a long and hard effort to find me and now I want to repay that with good performances.’
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