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    Jean-Paul Boëtius will ensure competition in Hertha’s midfield

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    Kevin-Prince Boateng was in the starting XI in both previous competitive games for Hertha BSC. The team’s performances were not successful. Especially in the away game against 1. FC Union, neither the team nor Boateng came together much.

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    But before the home game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday (3.30 p.m. Olympic Stadium, live on Sky), he believes in the turning point: “We want to grow, even with the mistakes. We have to do that as soon as possible. I have a good feeling.” He is confident that he can help with that. “I’m always ready, I feel ten times better than I felt at the same time last season,” Boateng said in a media round.

    Something has recently happened again in midfield at the Bundesliga club: the Berliners have signed Jean-Paul Boëtius, who played for FSV Mainz 05 for four years and was then without a club. Boëtius had toyed with a move to England, but nothing came of it.

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    Most recently, he had kept fit at his hometown club Feyenoord Rotterdam. Boëtius does not cost a fee, he has signed a contract with Hertha until 2025. The Dutchman is 28 years old, was champion with Feyenoord and in Switzerland with FC Basel.

    Hertha’s new coach Sandro Schwarz knows him from their times together in Mainz. He was a regular player under Schwarz, scoring twelve goals in 122 first-division appearances. Boëtius has played in the Champions League and Europa League and will not have come to Berlin to sit on the bench.

    Boateng knows that too. He is ready to fight for his current place in the team in his last season as a professional. “Competition is fun,” says the 35-year-old, adding with a laugh: “If he steps on the gas, he could take my place. But he has to get past me first.”

    Boateng then confirmed more seriously how he assesses the transfer: “He is a buffalo and can handle the ball well. That’s exactly what we need. In terms of football, we know what he’s capable of.” Boëtius is fast and technically adept, “he’s a very useful reinforcement for us,” says Schwarz.

    The newcomer can decide games, but he also lacked consistency from time to time. Schwarz remembers the beginnings in Mainz: Many thought he was primarily one for the left offensive side. But Boëtius mostly played in central midfield, which is where he says he feels most comfortable.

    The transfer came about after Jurgen Ekkelenkamp joined Royal Antwerp after just a year in Berlin. Hertha will receive a transfer fee of around 4.5 million euros. Boëtius gets the shirt number ten, which Ekkelenkamp previously wore.

    Kevin-Prince Boateng played with Hertha BSC against Boëtius and Mainz 05 last season. The newcomer is a “disgusting opponent”. But otherwise he is a very friendly person, as Boateng noticed in the first training session: “He was laughing the whole time. I find that a positive thing.”

    Source: Tagesspiegel

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