Premier League

Premiership, World Cup, Next Stop …West Ham???

‘We pray a lot, there is a big, big spirit and we take that spirit on to the pitch’: The pious words of Kevin-Prince Boateng ahead of Ghana’s second World Cup group game, just a few weeks ago.

Well, whether or not divine intervention is involved (it’s not…or is it? No, probably not), the World Cup has undoubtedly been good to Ghana and ‘the Prince’. His stock has duly risen, his transfer potential amplified.

Certainly, Boateng carried some relative clout before the tournament, and would likely have been able to find potential suitors, but a quick summer frolic in front of the worlds gawping eyes never harms anyone; unless you play utterly s**t, of course, but you get the idea.

Boateng, luckily, has had a good world cup – contributing a goal and general midfield bustle – and now clubs are circling in competition, all of which is probably quite ‘nice’ news for Portsmouth. Indeed, Pompey will be looking to squeeze as much juice as possible from a prospective transfer, and being in demand and in form equals more juicy juice – though they are unlikely to be able to manoeuvre into a position to strongly dictate proceedings.

Boateng is clearly a player of aptitude. His acutely disappointing time at Tottenham is probably an unfair representation. Certainly he was, it would be reasonable to state, something of a ‘failure’ at White Hart Lane – making only 15 appearances in two years at the club (punctuated by a loan to Borussia Dortmund) before finally moving on to Portsmouth in 2009. With intense competition he was unable to thrust himself into Spurs side. First-team football, and thus the opportunity to accumulate a good run of form, has seen his career relatively revived at Fratton Park

The FA Cup adventure was a highlight, but with Portsmouth facing up to life in the Championship, Boateng is set for a fresh venture. A central midfielder with dexterity, pace, decent technique and a strong physique, if his best is utilised – and his more ‘showy’ features are tailored practically – he could offer a constructive asset. His age, (still only 23-years-old), also makes him more of an attractive option.

Hence, the likes of West Ham (a reunion with Avram Grant), Man City (inevitably) and Lazio are all thought to be interested in the Ghanaian international.

However, though they recently signed his half brother Jerome, it is doubtful Man City will follow up reported interest with anything tangible; particularly following the acquisitions of Yaya Toure and David Silva.

West Ham or Lazio are the most likely destinations. Grant is clearly an admirer and ‘has previous’, but Lazio are currently thought to be both the keenest and the favourites to secure his signature; potentially as part of an £8million double deal for Boateng and Belhadj.

‘Kev’ will be hoping his World Cup escapade can continue, but when it does conclude he’ll have some decisions to make.

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