Barcelona officially announced the transfer of Franck Kessie to Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli yesterday in a move that will open up financial flexibility for Barcelona to register players ahead of the La Liga kickoff against Getafe this Sunday.
"“FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli SC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Franck Kessie for 12.5 million euros” read the statement“FC Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Franck Kessie for his commitment and dedication and wishes him the best of luck and success in the future.”"
In a move that has long been rumoured, it’s good to finally have some closure. Juventus had been heavily tipped with the signing of Kessie, but the Ivorian midfielder was reluctant to move back to Italy having left Serie A the year before for Barcelona.
Kessie made 43 appearances for Barca last season, which included 16 starts. His most memorable moment in a Barcelona shirt came in the Clasico at Camp Nou where he scored a stoppage-time goal to beat Real Madrid 2-1, extending the eventual La Liga champion’s cushion at the top of the league to 12 points.
Disappointing on the field, productive financially
However, considering he’s leaving after just one year in Spain, the singing has to go down as a disappointment from a footballing perspective. The combative midfielder was always a willing runner, and always keen to get forward, but he sometimes lacked the quality on the ball expected of a Barca midfielder, and it was unclear just how much Xavi trusted him.
From a financial perspective, it was a good deal. Having signed on a free transfer, generating €12.5 million worth of income is a good return.
Under the financial fair play, La Liga rules that were changed in January, Barca will now be able to reinvest 50% of the fee back into the playing squad. While $6.25 million isn’t a lot of money, it’s also not insignificant.
We wish Franck all the best for his Saudi adventure.