Barcelona shocked the football world on Tuesday with the announcement that former Tottenham and Portsmouth player Kevin-Prince Boateng had joined the club. Signed on a six-month loan from Serie A’s Sassuolo, Boateng’s move was panned by every major and minor football newspaper and website along with Barcelona’s supporters.
Despite the backlash from Barcelona supporters, Boateng could prove to be an astute addition to the Catalan club.
Kevin-Prince Boateng to Barcelona
Boateng has played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The 31-year-old has worn the shirts of Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Schalke, and now Barcelona.
He has experience and ability on the pitch that he is not given enough credit for.
During his time at AC Milan, Boateng was one of the club’s biggest stars and he helped the club win the Scudetto in 2010-11.
Boateng scored 18 goals and tallied 16 assists during his time at the San Siro. Although he started well with his next team Schalke, things ended in chaos after he and two other players were suspended due to their “behaviour”.
The attacking midfielder returned to Milan before moving to Las Palmas with little of note occurring.
In August 2017, he signed for Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and helped led the team to a German Cup victory and Europa League qualification with a win over Bayern Munich.
Boateng may be a journeyman footballer, but he still has the talent to help Barcelona win trophies.
Kevin-Prince Boateng’s Barcelona role
Barcelona and other top-level teams are finding it difficult sign big-name players in January who aren’t Champions League cup-tied. Last January, Barcelona signed Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, but the Brazilian was unable to play in the Champions League.
Needing depth and a spark off the bench in all competitions, Boateng can add that. He has experience playing for top clubs and winning trophies. Not to mention the forward has the ability to step into Barcelona thanks to his big personality and not be phased.
Boateng will be Luis Suarez’s back-up at Barcelona. A role the player is perfectly happy with. Suarez’s previous back-up Munir El Haddadi moved to Sevilla seeking a more regular starting role. Boateng and El Haddadi are at the opposite ends of their careers, with the latter wanting to seek more minutes of the pitch.
Barcelona’s loan signing of the forward shows the team thinking outside the box. They have gone for a player under the radar — dare I say Money Ball — and currently undervalued.
It may have been three months since Boateng last scored for Sassuolo, which was a penalty, but Sassuolo’s form has been dire since starting well.
Since September 27, Sassuolo have won just twice in Serie A and they are have since shown relegation form.
Barcelona can sign Boateng permanently for €8 million. If he plays well and Barcelona can get goals from the former Tottenham and Portsmouth man, it will be money well spent.