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OFFICIAL: Boateng loaned to Beşiktaş

The veteran attacker will give the Superlig a shot after falling out of favor with Iachini.

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

We suspected it after he was listed as injured with the ever-nebulous “bruised knee,” but now it’s official: Fiorentina have loaned Kevin-Prince Boateng to Beşiktaş for the next 18 months. It’s unclear if the Black Eagles will have the right to buy him outright, but it’s hard to imagine they’d splash a big sum on a player who’ll be 34 at the end of the loan.

The polarizing Ghanaian has born a lot of criticism from Viola fans this year, who’ve railed at him for his lack of pace and meager goal return: he’s only scored once in his 15 appearances, although that one was a banger against Napoli in the season opener. However, anyone who expected the Prince to be prolific was always barking up the wrong tree, as that’s never been his style. In fairness to him, he’s often helped in the buildup while playing out of position at striker, receiving little service and less acclaim for the holdup play and distribution he brings to the table.

Brought in from Sassuolo for just €1 million, he was never supposed to be more than a rotation option in Florence. More than that, perhaps, he was meant to bring a veteran presence; after all, he’s won a massive pile of trophies in Italy, Germany, England, and Spain in his peripatetic career.

He’ll may get the chance to add to that stockpile in Istanbul. He should compete with Abdoulay Diaby and Umut Nayir for minutes as the number 10 in new manager Sergen Yalçın’s 4-2-3-1. With Beşiktaş, traditionally one of Turkey’s three biggest clubs, struggling along in 7th place and bounced out of both the Europa League and the domestic cup, he won’t win any silverware this year; next year, however, he could push on.

We wish KPB the best of luck; a likable player who’s been outspoken against the racism pervasive in soccer, he was a model professional during his brief stint in Florence. Perhaps Beşiktaş, which will be his 13th senior club, will be a slightly longer-term home for him. Whatever happens, though, he’s a class player and should be fine.