(photo credit: AP [file])
Betar Jerusalem is continuing its tradition of bringing in big names from Europe. After having signing Frenchmen Jerome Leroy and Fabrice Fernandes last season, the yellow-andblack have now acquired Ghanaian international Derek Boateng from Swedish club AIK.
Betar manager Vladimir Shklar announced the signing after brief negotiations that took place over the weekend. Shklar also disclosed later that the player had an offer from French Ligue 1 side Marseille, but eventually decided to sign a three-year deal worth about three million euros to play in Jerusalem.
Boateng is considered to be one of the most promising players to have come out of Ghana in recent years, but also one who has failed to live up to the expectations. The midfielder hardly impressed in his three seasons with Greek giant Panathinaikos, which released him to AIK in the 2003/04 season.
The Ghanaian international was also a part of his country's World Cup squad in Germany earlier this summer, where he was involved in three games as a substitute.
"I'm happy to be in the Promised Land. It was a tough decision, but I finally decided to play in Israel," Boateng told reporters after the official signing. "I think Betar is a good club with high aspirations and I hope we can achieve this goal together."
The 23-year old midfielder is expected to fill in for Mazua Ensombo, who was released by new coach Osvaldo Ardiles last month.
Boateng has the ability play multiple positions, but is mostly known for his physical and dominant play in the midfield.