Kevin Prince Boateng’s shocking move to Barcelona explained

You know you are a liar if you say you saw this one coming! Yes, Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Ghanaian legend Kevin Prince Boateng from Sassuolo in the 2019 Winter Transfer Window. The versatile forward will be joining the club on an initial €2m loan for the remainder of the season with an option to buy mooted to be in region of €8 million. But why are we really surprised by this move?

His playing positions

Kevin-Prince Boateng of US Sassuolo pulls the ball into the goal during the serie A match between US Sassuolo and Genoa CFC at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on September 2, 2018 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy.  (Sept. 1, 2018 - Source: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images Europe)

Kevin-Prince Boateng of US Sassuolo pulls the ball into the goal during the serie A match between US Sassuolo and Genoa CFC at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on September 2, 2018 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy.

(Sept. 1, 2018 - Source: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images Europe)

Kevin Prince Boateng is one of the most versatile players that we have seen in recent years. In the early stages of his career, he played in all of the midfield positions that you can think of. He anchored the stew in England with Portsmouth and Tottenham before being given the creative responsibilities in Italy and Germany with teams like AC Milan and Schalke FC. Just recently, he was deployed as an out and out striker at the Spanish club Las Palmas.

I do not see him adding anything to the already packed midfield of the Blaugrana who have Arthur and Coutinho taking turns to prove themselves in late cameos off the bench. Even in front, Ernesto Valverde has the experienced Luis Suarez and arguably the world’s greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, who also plays as a forward. This would only mean that the African player will have to settle for a second fiddle role to the latter. He could be a competent substitute forward.

His age

The former Ghanaian international shined at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa with his nation. His performances left fond memories in our minds which make it surreal to even think that that was 9 years ago. On the 6th of March this year, Kevin Prince Boateng will be turning 32 years of age. The tall and aggressive all-rounder might not be past his prime yet but is close to the retirement package days which raises questions as to why he would join Barcelona now. He has lost some of his pace and will not be the ferocious threat he was at Milan under Allegri, but will have to complement it with his experience. He has been kicking the ball up and down the soccer pitch for close to 15 years now and can surely manage to do the basics in the remainder of this season.  

Kevin Prince Boateng is one of the most versatile players that we have seen in recent years. In the early stages of his career, he played in all of the midfield positions that you can think of. He anchored the stew in England with Portsmouth and Tottenham before being given the creative responsibilities in Italy and Germany with teams like AC Milan and Schalke FC.
— Tinotenda Magiya, FirstTouch Africa

The Club

Kevin Prince Boateng is a well-known Real Madrid fan who once shared in an interview in 2017 that he would prefer to play for Real Madrid than Barcelona. He even went on to express his frustration that he had not gotten to the club of his dreams because he had not been hard on himself enough to improve his game to reach a level required at the Spanish club. Knowing all this, surely, the Barcelona fans would not be happy about having a Madridista on their books considering the rivalry between the two clubs. In his defense, Boateng said, “Don’t ask me about Real Madrid... is just the past! I only want to focus on Barcelona and I hope to score at Bernabéu for the next Clasico.

We can say a lot about this transfer but there’s one fact to be acknowledged by all. Boateng has played for many clubs in Europe, now 11 to be exact, and has always delivered. It says a lot about him and the many African players who have done it before him. Make sure to follow him during his time at Barcelona.