Ghana’s Richmond Boakye has told KweséESPN that the opportunity to work with one of the world’s top coaches in Fabio Capello was a big factor in his decision to join Jiangsu Suning.
The 25-year-old was linked with a move to the Premier League earlier this year, but left Red Star Belgrade and ultimately signed a three-year deal with the Chinese Super League on Thursday.
“China offered a life-changing opportunity which I took,” the Ghana international told KweséESPN. “It’s that simple.”
Boakye scored 15 Super Liga goals for Red Star this term, and has acknowledged that the prospect of refining his talent under Capello also influenced his decision.
“I [chose Jiangsu] because they’re coached by one of the best coaches in the world in Capello,” he continued. “The club’s top profile, vision and links with Inter Milan was an extra attraction.”
China is the latest step in a nomadic career journey for Boakye, who first arrived in Italy as a teenager and went on to represent Juventus, Atalanta, Genoa and Sassuolo.
He has also played in Spain and the Netherlands before moving to Serbia, but says that he is at an age where settling down has become a priority.
“I see myself as part of Suning’s long-term vision and want to stay with the club for a long time,” he added. “My stepping-stone years were at Sassuolo and Elche.
“The China Super League is very competitive and is growing, with the arrival of some of the top players in the world,” he continued. “I want to be part of that growth, and my intention is to play well here and leave the future to decide itself.
“I see China as a good place to live and work so it is home to me and not a stepping stone,” the forward concluded. “I am now an established international so my mind is to settle here.”
Boakye has become a key member of Ghana’s Black Stars after being overlooked for several years, and is confident that playing in China will have no bearing on his future opportunities with the side.
“Ghana give equal opportunities to all players, so I’ll still have a chance at national team football and I’ll have the chance to compete in one of Asia’s most competitive leagues,” Boakye added. “I want to continue my remarkable scoring streak and retain my place in the Black Stars.”