Sunday August 19 2018
De Zerbi: 'Boateng a real striker'

Roberto De Zerbi praised Sassuolo star Kevin-Prince Boateng and enjoyed the surprise opening victory over title-chasing Inter.

The Neroverdi continued their remarkable recent record against Inter, winning five of their last seven Serie A meetings, and this one was decided by a Domenico Berardi penalty.

“We’re very happy, clearly,” smiled the Coach on Sky Sport Italia.

“Inter are a strong side and paradoxically it is easier to play against a strong opponent, as they attack you and allow the spaces to open up for an entertaining game.

“We too have quality players and that was clear to see this evening. We are young, yes, but with a lot of quality in the side too.”

Boateng was one of the most surprising transfers of the summer, but the former Milan man made a big impact in his new centre-forward role.

“I stole the idea from when he was at Las Palmas, a team that I very nearly went to work for. It’s very helpful, especially at the start of the season, to have a player in attack who can find his way out of pressing.

“The way Boateng attacks the space makes him a real Number 9, not a False Nine. We try to push the moves more down the flanks with Federico Di Francesco and Domenico Berardi.

“Boateng is also very important in the locker room. He is always positive and enthusiastic, but also very helpful for some players who just arrived and can’t speak Italian yet. If they need help communicating in English, German, French or Spanish, he’s always on hand to make them feel more comfortable.”

Boateng hit the headlines this week by releasing his debut hip-hop single with the stage name PRIN$$.

“I saw the video, my 13-year-old son sent it to me…” confessed De Zerbi.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.