When Richmond Boakye netted the only goal of the game in Partizan Belgrade’s impressive Europa League victory away to Cologne late last month, the Ghanaian celebrated his 30th goal for club and country in 2017.
Just to put it into perspective, that was the same number as Cristiano Ronaldo had managed. It was also more than the entire Sunderland side had tallied between them from January to October this year.
The Black Cats’ failure to bring Boakye to England, after GhanaSoccerNet confirmed their interest in April, is looking more than more costly. Sunderland are currently second from bottom in the Championship, tallying just 12 goals in 11 league games.
And also because Boakye turned his initial loan deal at Partizan permanent on a free in the summer. His parent club, Serie B side Latina, went bankrupt and were forced to give away their players for nothing.
The prolific forward, then, would have been a super addition for a cash-strapped Sunderland side crying out for a goalscorer.
From free transfer to £10m big break
And, to make matters worse, Boakye is now reportedly being lined up for a huge move in January. GhanaSoccerNet claims that Premier League champions Chelsea will send scouts to watch the 24-year-old against Arsenal in the Europa League in the next few weeks at the request of manager Antonio Conte.
The Italian was in charge of Serie A side Juventus when Boakye was earning rave reviews in the youth team. And the report adds that the striker is now valued at £10 million – just a few weeks after moving for free.
It’s fair to say Sunderland’s ship has probably sailed.