Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - RC Lens v AS Monaco - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France - April 22, 2023 RC Lens' Seko Fofana reacts REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Seko Fofana Joins Al-Nassr

Lens captain Seko Fofana announced that he has officially accepted an offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr on Tuesday.

“I leave you with the feeling of accomplishment and pride at being a part of this history which is ours,” Fofana, 28, wrote in a farewell video posted on Instagram.

During his three-year tenure at the northern French outfit, the Ivorian international midfielder showcased his skills in 112 appearances, managing to net an impressive total of 21 goals.

As he departs the club, Lens achieves a significant milestone, returning to the Champions League for the first time in 21 years. This accomplishment comes after an exceptional season, during which they secured a remarkable second-place finish in Ligue 1, falling only one point short of Paris Saint-Germain.

“Seko is here,” Al-Nassr wrote on Twitter.

Fofana now joins a star-studded lineup at the Riyadh-based club, which includes renowned players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Croatian international Marcelo Brozovic, and Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.


Recent weeks have seen an influx of other prominent names making their way to Saudi Arabia. French players Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante have joined Al-Ittihad, while Senegalese Kalidou Koulibaly and Portuguese Ruben Neves are now part of Al-Hilal.

During his time as Lens captain, Fofana showed exceptional talent, earning the distinction of being one of the top performers in Ligue 1 last season. His prowess was evident when he became the only midfielder nominated for the best player in the championship, standing alongside four formidable forwards: Kylian Mbappe, Lois Openda, Jonathan David, and Lionel Messi.

“I want, on behalf of the club, to especially salute an exemplary captain who has been sparkling and has shown leadership for three seasons,” said RC Lens general manager Arnaud Pouille.

“Proof of his deep attachment to Racing, he will very soon become the first player leaving a club to become a shareholder,” he said.

Fofana’s football journey began in his hometown club, Paris FC, and later at Lorient during his youth career. In 2014, he signed his first contract with Manchester City, although he never had the opportunity to play a professional match for the English club.

Following his time at Manchester City, Fofana embarked on a series of loan spells, starting with Fulham and then Bastia. Afterward, he spent an impressive four years playing for the Italian Serie A club, Udinese. In the summer of 2020, he made a significant move to Lens, which had just been promoted to Ligue 1.

In addition to Fofana’s departure, RC Lens also announced that Polish international Adam Buksa would be leaving the club. Buksa is set to be on loan at Turkish club Antalyaspor, with an option for the Turkish side to make the transfer permanent.