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Sports Features of Friday, 29 March 2019

Source: ghanaguardian.com

Is KP Boateng the latest in the list of Barça transfer-flops?

It was perhaps the most shocking piece of business in the January transfer window when it was announced Kevin-Prince Boateng has moved from Italian first division side US Sassuolo to FC Barcelona.

The Ghanaian international joined the La Liga champions on a six-month loan deal. The agreement also included an €8m purchase option.

"I'm a realist, but when you have dreams, you can change reality." With these words, Boateng introduced himself in Barcelona.

He knew that he would only play a reserve role, "I know that I will not be a regular player, but I think I can still help the team with my experience," said Boateng during his unveiling.

The 32-year-old was signed to provide cover for Luis Suárez but has failed to earn the trust of manager Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde had his doubts even before the transfer. In the end, he was persuaded to sanction the move. However, the coach does not seem to have changed his mind.

Since his arrival, Boateng has made only two appearances for Barça, in the 2-0 Copa defeat away at the Sánchez Pizjuán and in the unconvincing 1-0 victory over Valladolid at Camp Nou, where he lasted an hour before Suárez was thrown on to add some impetus to the attack. With only 123 minutes of use, Boateng can hardly be satisfied.

On the pitch, Boateng is barely visible, and off it, he draws attention with negative headlines. The Spanish AS reported last, that the Barca officials are angry at Boateng because he decided against the chance to impress during a voluntary training session at the club's Ciudad Deportiva.

The coach handed his non-internationals a two-day holiday but invited those on the fringes to turn up for training anyway- but the Ghanaian failed to show up. It was a missed opportunity to show the gaffer that he had the desire to change his situation at the club.

It may be far too early to label him a flop at Barcelona because the business end of the season is about to start and an unlikely twist of fate might hand him an opportunity to redeem himself.

But for now, all indications suggest the Catalans will not trigger the buy-option which means the former AC Milan forward is set to return to Italy at the end of his loan stint in July.