Derek Owusu Boateng
(born 2 May 1983) is a Ghanaian footballer
who currently plays for Ukrainian team Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Originally a striker or winger, Boateng has moved further down the pitch and is currently considered a defensive midfielder
in his club, due to the position slightly behind the other midfielders he tends to have during the game. While he is not a traditional holding midfielder
, his ability to hold the ball and make the opening passes makes him suitable for that position.
Boateng was born and grew up in Accra
, and joined the youth academy of local side Liberty Professionals
at the age of 10 in 1993. He signed for Kalamata F.C.
in Greece when he was 16. Kalamata stopped him from appearing in the Under-17 World Cup
in 1999 in New Zealand
In 2001, Boateng signed for Panathinaikos
, a leading Greek Super League
club, where he played as an attacker or an attacking midfielder due to his speed and dribbling abilities.Steve McClaren
, as assistant manager for Manchester United
, had seen Boateng as an opponent in the Champions League
, and when McClaren became the manager of Middlesbrough
in 2002, he tried to sign him. Panathinaikos accepted, but as Boateng was not playing regularly for the Ghana national football team
, he was unable to receive a work permit.
In 2002, Boateng was unable to keep his place in the Panathinaikos squad and was sent on loan to OFI Crete
, another Greek Super League
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