Boateng arrival lifts Schalke Gloom

So it might not have been as eye catching as some of the big money moves across Europe in the madness and melee of the closing days of the transfer window, however Schalke’s capture of Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng could well prove one of the shrewdest.

The midfielder had in recent years become an integral part of the Milan side, whether it be by occupying in a defensive or more offensive midfield slot. With that in mind there were many slightly shocked to see the Italians dispense with his services, although something clearly had to give to allow for Milan to bring in club legend Kaka – with Boateng seemingly the fall guy for funding that move.

There have also been certain reports indicating that Boateng was understandably hurt by several incidents of racism in Serie A, which loosened his love for life at the San Siro. Whatever the reasons for AC deciding one of their most consistent performances last season was no longer required, for a Schalke side struggling to maintain their place in Germany’s elite this is a real coup.

Fans who have seen little of Boateng since his inconsistent showings for both Tottenham and Portsmouth might wonder what exactly the big deal is, yet the 26 year old has matured considerably since then and in the last year or two has showcased the kinds of performances that Spurs believed he was capable of when they paid significant money for him in 2007.

Schalke certainly needed something to lift them, with no wins in their opening three fixtures leading to many questioning manager Jens Keller – that sticky start including a thumping defeat at Wolfsburg. Since then they have seemingly regained their composure, picking up back to back wins, firstly and crucially against Champions League rivals Leverkuson and a 1-0 win in Mainz – where Boateng made his debut and scored the games only goal.

That result was followed up by a largely routine win over Bucharest, although impressively Boateng again played a key role. Having overcome their sluggish start and with the impressive capture of the Ghanaian already paying dividends, Schalke suddenly look a strong side again and one who should now be confident of finishing in the top three. Rivals Leverkuson sit worryingly five points clear of them even at this early stage, but the recent signs are positive.

Already Boateng has highlighted that the impact his signature could have and come the end of the season we might just be talking about him as one of the best signings in the Bundesliga, whilst others could be cursing why they didn’t make a move. The half German and half Ghanaian should certainly feel at home back in Germany and you would think that will only see him improve yet further.