Midfielder Franck Kessie (Ouragahio, Ivory Coast; 26 years old) leaves Barcelona one season after arriving free and from an Italian champion Milan. Al-Ahli has made his signing official after paying 12.5 million to the Catalan entity. Kessié was aware that this year with the arrival of Gündogan, Oriol Romeu and the emergence of Fermín López he was going to have less presence than last season and after considering the option of returning to Italy, with Juventus, the Ivorian He has decided to go to Saudi Arabia. It thus becomes the third outing for the first team, after the departure of Umtiti and Alex Collado and waiting to confirm the sale of Dembélé.
FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli SC have agreed on a 12.5 million euro transfer for the player Franck Kessie.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 9, 2023
His first and only season in Barcelona went from less to more. He decided not to renew with Milan to sign as a free agent last summer. But he went from being a fundamental piece in Milan, who got the scudetto eleven years later, to start from the bench most of the games with Xavi. The competition in the Barça midfielder was evident with Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and De Jong as indisputable pieces.
Despite his low presence, Kessie was patient and with the change in formation they went from three to four midfielders. So her participation grew as the season went by; even more so with Pedri’s injury that made him become a fixture in the rotations. His great physique gave the team more defensive solidity, and in turn his arrival in the area gave Xavi’s team a more offensive point.
His best moment of the season came in the classic league game at the Camp Nou. Barça could sentence the league and leave Real Madrid at twelve points. When everything seemed to end in a tie, ‘The President’ Kessie appeared to beat Courtois and cause delirium at the Camp Nou. His goal, the first and only one in the domestic competition, sealed La Liga and Kessie became the best example of knowing how to wait for the moment and become a regular in the rotations and in some starting eleven.
The fact that he arrived free in Barcelona without the culé board having to pay for a transfer and given the financial situation of the club, made the Ivorian always have the transferable sign since the club would obtain benefits with its sale. He already was in winter when an exchange was attempted with Brozovic, defensive pivot of Inter Milan, wanted by the club this summer but who decided to go to Saudi Arabia. And this summer with the signings in the midfield of players like Gündogan and Oriol Romeu and the stellar, and unexpected, appearance of Fermín López they closed any option to keep the minutes of last season. This is how Xavi let him know that, despite summoning him for the American tour, he did not let him play for a single minute. Therefore, aware of his situation, Kessie has decided to accept Ah-Ahli’s offer and heads to the Saudi league to join players of the stature of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mané or N’golo Kanté, among many others.
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