Once regarded as one of the most promising young players in the world. Played his local soccer with Liberty Professionals before leaving for Greece, at the age of 16.
From July 1999 to December 2000 he played for Kalamata FC. He impressed there and was snapped up by Panathinaikos in a deal reportedly worth over a million dollars in January 2001. Though he impressed for Panathinaikos, notably in European champions league games, he never really managed to break into the first team there.
January 2003: He moved on on a six-month loan to OFI Crete from Panathinaikos in an attempt to get more first team football. Derek had been inactive for the Greek giants during the beginning of the season. He said the opportunity to play first team football with OFI Crete also in the Greek first division had been a persuasive factor in the move.
He gained a lot of Champions' League experience with Panathinaikos before moving to another Greek club, OFI Crete, on a six-month loan in January 2003.
July 2003: Derek Boateng moves from Greek side, Panathinaikos, to AIK Stockholm. He finally signed a 3.5 year contract with the Swedish club. The final transfer figure is undisclosed.