FC Barcelona have their newest signing now, Kevin-Prince Boateng. Why did they sign him? Let’s delve into the pros... and cons.
PRO - He fills a need for cheap
Simply put, Boateng is a forward and Barcelona needed to replace Munir. They do not have the exact same skillset, but Boateng does at least provide cover where Barça need it. The best part is Barcelona didn’t spend much on him, getting him for a 2 million euro loan fee.
CON - He doesn’t score much
Arguably the biggest gripe against him is his relatively light scoring record. He’s only got 61 goals in 398 career appearances. But most of those came before he became a forward, back when he used to play as a midfielder. Even still, he only had 6 in 36 last season for Eintracht Frankfurt, and has an improved-but-still-not-outstanding 5 in 15 this season for Sassuolo.
PRO - He does a bit of everything
However, Boateng makes up for it with his all-around play. He’s a physical presence who can press other teams, he can win aerial duels, he can play passes, he can hold the ball up... a little bit of everything. Perhaps that’s why the Catalans saw him as Luis Suárez’s substitute. Just like the Uruguayan, he’s hard to handle and he helps by holding the ball up and linking play.
CON - He’s lacked consistency in the past
Boateng has gained fans all over Europe for his great performances and iconic goals, but he’s never played for a true super team before. The closest he’s come was the AC Milan of 2011, which won Serie A, that clashed with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League - and that was a long time ago. The reason is partly due to a lack of consistency at his very top level. Does he have enough quality to play at the Barcelona level for the remainder of the season?
PRO - He has Liga experience
The well-traveled Boateng spent a successful spell at Las Palmas and knows La Liga well. The veteran player has also featured in the Bundesliga, Serie A, and the English Premier League as well as represented Ghana at the international level. Hopefully, he will adapt quickly to the team.
CON - He’s 31
Boateng is 32 in March, and we all know in footballers’ years that makes him relatively old. Of course, a lot of great players keep going on past 32 without much drop off, but age catches up with everyone. How long will he maintain his level?
PRO - Barça don’t need him for long
The good news is that even if he drops off massively in a year, he may be gone anyway. Barcelona need him right away to contribute in a few matches and serve as a backup. Anything else is extra. He was brought on loan, and though the Catalans do have a purchase option for the summer, they may not use it.
So, we ask you, the readers: does Boateng have enough quality to contribute to Barcelona right away?