Football transfers occasionally have the capacity to surprise pundits and fans alike. In the Premier League this summer the transfer of Bebe to Manchester United was especially odd. Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to have signed the £7 million forward from the obscurity of the Portuguese third division without having seen him play. Even more peculiar though is transfer activities of Kevin Prince Boateng during the window. Having enjoyed an excellent World Cup, taking Ghana to the quarter-finals, the former Portsmouth player signed for two Italian clubs in one day, ending up at AC Milan.
Prince Boateng joined Pompey last summer in a deal worth £4 million to Tottenham Hotspur. He arguably restored his reputation at Fratton Park last season bringing an aggressive passion, dynamism and technical skill to their midfield. However his efforts could not prevent the club from relegation and he had a tame penalty saved by Petr Cech in the FA Cup final. The German born midfielder is no stranger to controversy as he opted to represent the Ghanaian national team earlier this year. At the World Cup finals the central midfielder lined up against his brother, Jerome as the Black Stars faced Germany. Brotherly differences aside, Prince Boateng shone in South Africa where his industriousness and confidence brought a superb left-footed goal against the USA.
With these mature, exciting performances not going undetected is it strange to see the former Tottenham man join up with Robinho, Pirlo, Pato and Ibrahimovic at the San Siro? The heavily tattooed 23-year old has moved to AC Milan on loan this season after signing a permanent deal with fellow Serie A side Genoa. Complicated signings and relationships between Italian clubs are not overly abnormal. Genoa’s owner who bought the player for a fee of £5 million explains: “Our club must have good relations with big clubs. Boateng is a Genoa player but will not play with us. We’ll see what club we can find an agreement with.” If Prince Boateng makes an impression expect that club to be the red and blacks of Milan. It is bizarre, however, that a smaller club have adopted a feeder role to the heavily decorated Rossoneri.
As the historical port city club seek to usurp bitter rivals Sampdoria, they have engaged in an extensive recruitment drive. Rafinha, goalkeeper Edurado, Luca Toni and Miguel Veloso will all be playing at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this season. Genoa have been amongst the most aggressive spenders in Serie A this summer. The club’s evident generosity suggests that Berlusconi’s Milan did not have the immediate funds to secure Prince Boateng. Conversely the 17-time Scudetto winning side found the substantive cash to permanently sign Robinho yesterday.
The former Pompey man whose journey to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium featured a slight detour has said, “I don’t care how Milan brought me here, I feel 100 per cent Rossonero and I have to show I can play at this level.” Bizarrely the Genoa player is unlikely to ever feature for his parent club and has his sights set on competing for midfield places with Seedorf, Flamini and Ambrosini. Given his relatively short but varied and exciting career it would be difficult to bet against him doing just that. He made his competitive debut on Sunday, replacing Alexander Pato after 76 minutes in their 4-0 victory over Lecce.