It has been widely reported since Kevin-Prince Boateng returned from a loan deal with Barcelona that he would not be a part of the Sassuolo squad for next season. Limited to just three league appearances in Ernesto Valverde’s side it can be said that the most intriguing acquisition of the January transfer window was not a success and Barcelona chose not to activate the €8 million euro option to buy.
Boateng would represent an experienced and extremely versatile attacking outlet for Vincenzo Montella - adept at playing all positions across the front line. It can be expected, however, that the journeyman will renew the false nine role where he impressed when featuring for Roberto Di Zerbi’s Sassuolo at the start of last season scoring 5 goals in 15 appearances. Additionally, Boateng’s physicality and ability to link play could provide the focal point that Fiorentina was severely lacking last season, Luis Muriel’s short-lived yet spectacular run of form aside.
At 32, the two-year contract reported works for everyone involved. This will allow the continuous development of pre-season favourite Dusan Vlahovic without the pressure of contributing to the first team immediately and give more time for El Cholito Giovanni Simeone to recover from an ongoing lack of confidence.
This move would be a positive sign of ambition from Daniele Prade, in line with the links to low-cost and more experienced players in general so far this transfer window that can immediately improve the quality of the team (read our recent articles on Fernando Llorente and Borja Valero). In the spirit of competition, it also weakens the attacking options available to Di Zerbi who will be looking to improve upon Sassuolo’s eleventh-placed finish in the Serie A last season after impressive summer signings in Francesco Caputo and Hamed Traore (I hope that wasn’t too soon?).