Scout Report – Richmond Boakye
There is a different swagger in Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. In his first season in England, he won the Premier League title with Chelsea and helped them reach the FA Cup finals, which they eventually lost to Arsenal.
Apart from being a clever tactician, Conte is proving to be one of the smartest managers in England at the moment and has already signed some high-profile players in his second spell with the Blues. With the system he has deployed and the players he has signed, the Italian is laying a strong foundation for Chelsea’s future.
And according to some reports, it has emerged that Conte wants to further strengthen his squad and is looking to sign Ghana international Richmond Boakye from Red Star Belgrade in January. It appears Chelsea scouts will watch the striker during next week’s Europa League tie between Red Star Belgrade and Arsenal.
Boakye, 24, was linked with a move to Sunderland last season but things didn’t materialise. Sunderland however, got relegated and are currently struggling in the Championship.
For fans, not so familiar with the Serbian league, here is the scout report of latest Chelsea target, Richmond Boakye.
Born on January 28, 1993 in Agogo, Ashanti, Richmond Boakye started his career with Bechem United in his native country of Ghana. After two years with Bechem United, he moved to D.C United and remained there until 2008 before being scouted by Italian club Genoa.
With Genoa, Boakye made only six appearances and was loaned to Serie B outfit Sassuolo in 2011, before Juventus signed him a year later. However, failing to break into Juventus’ first-team under then manager Conte, the Ghana striker spent his time on loan at Sassuolo again and Spanish club Elche in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
In 2015, Atalanta bought Boakye outright from Juventus and loaned him to Roda JC in the Eredivisie and then on a loan-to-own deal to Latina Calcio. Latina Calcio, in turn, loaned him to Red Star Belgrade, who eventually picked him up for free as the club went bankrupt and were forced to give away their players for nothing.
Boakye, currently in his second season at Red Star Belgrade, finished the 2016/17 season on a high, scoring 12 goals. So far this season he has a pair of domestic goals; 7 goals across Belgrade’s 8 Europa League qualifiers and a spectacular winner for the Serbian side in their 1-0 win over Cologne in the Europa League last month.
On the international platform with Ghana, Boakye made his debut against China in 2012. An Under-23 World Cup semi-finalist with Ghana, he has won 12 senior caps, scoring 6 goals.
What Does He Offer?
When Boakye netted the only goal of the game for Red Star against Cologne in the Europa League last month, the Ghanaian celebrated his 30th goal for club and country in 2017. This proves Boakye has developed into one fearsome striker in Europe lately.
Standing at 6ft 1in, Boakye is a tall, strong and imposing presence at the top of the attack, who can brush aside his opponents with his strength and power. The 24-year-old puts his strong physique to good use, acting as a focal point in the attack and has shown that he can hold up the play really well and bring his teammates into the game.
Apart from being a great force in the air, the Ghanaian is a top predator with intelligent movement. A clinical finisher, with both his feet and his head, Boakye exudes great composure in front of goal, despite being just 24. It is also his ability to hold up the play that adds more to his value. Being a constant goal-threat, Boakye is also a fantastic dribbler.
However, the forward lacks guile and has to work on his decision-making more. His style of play will work for top European teams but given his poor judgement, he may tend to struggle. Boakye isn’t a speed bullet, but when an opportunity is presented, he will find the back of the net more often than not, before giving his trademark salute.
What Does The Future Hold?
Conte acquired an established, experienced striker in Alvaro Morata this summer to replace Diego Costa, who has joined Atletico Madrid. However, he failed to land a striker as Morata’s back-up. But in Michy Batshuayi, he has good support. With possible injury threat and the addition of Champions League this term for Chelsea, Boakye’s scouting might come as a move to add more depth to the squad in January.
Chelsea may see Boakye as a stop-gap solution to cover any more injuries to Chelsea’s front-men between now and May. Boakye is known to Conte as he has had a short spell at Juventus. However, he failed to convince the coaching staff there.
Boakye won’t directly walk into Chelsea’s XI, but given the prolific goal-scorer he has turned into lately, the Ghanaian should be an exciting back-up from the bench.