The novel that has been written surrounding Mario Balotelli’s return to the English Premier League might be almost over. Recent media reports both from England and Italy claim that Liverpool have offered £16 million to AC Milan for the erratic Italian forward and that the Rossoneri have agreed to negotiate his transfer to England.
The 24-year old footballer is reportedly demanding £125k per week in order to sign the deal with Liverpool and such high amount might in fact stall the entire process. Balotelli, who joined AC Milan in 2013 after spending three years with Manchester City, didn’t change much on his style from when he played at English Premier League. The Italian international netted in 30 goals in a little over 50 matches, but his overall performances left something to be desired.
Apart from glimpses of geniality, Balotelli continued with his tantrums and he allegedly had some quarrels with the former AC Milan’s head coach Clarence Seedorf, even though these fall-out were normally short lived and the two of them were best friends again in the following day.
Despite all one can say about Balotelli’s personality and his somewhat inconsistent performances, no one can certainly deny how talented he is. Despite of that fact, one is forced to ask if he is the right man to replace Luis Suárez and to help Liverpool on their title quest this season.
It is fairly complicated to replace someone that, besides having scored 31 goals in 37 matches last season, has an immense charisma and that is able to carry the team on his back when needed. Despite all his biting issues, Suárez is not replaceable and bringing in Balotelli will certainly not mitigate the departure of the Uruguayan forward.
Nevertheless, Balotelli might prove to be a great partner for Sturridge up in the Liverpool’s forward line. Despite the arrival of Lambert, Brendan Rodgers preferred to use only one centre forward in Liverpool’s opening Premier League match, as he opted for some sort of a 4-3-3 style with Coutinho and Sterling lurking behind the lonely front man Sturridge. The hypothetical arrival of Balotelli will offer the Northern Irish manager the possibility of displaying his team in a diamond shaped 4-4-2, with Coutinho feeding the front duo as an advanced playmaker, something that he does particularly well.
There are some pros and cons in the eventual signing of a footballer such as Balotelli and Brendan Rodgers is certainly aware of that. Nevertheless, if he managed to deal with Suárez, he will probably also be able to deal with the Italian footballer’s temper and inconsistency and, for that reason, one may be forced to admit that Balotelli could come in handy for the Reds this season.
Here’s the picture (obviously Photoshopped) making the rounds in social media, with Mario Balotelli wearing a Liverpool kit.
If this happens I will get a Mario Balotelli Liverpool FC jersey pic.twitter.com/C3x0dX1sXC
— jack cotsanis (@cotsanis) August 21, 2014
Here’s another widely circulated (again, a spoof) Balotelli Liverpool kit.
— Spencer Glidewell ✯ (@DatDude_SG85) August 22, 2014
This just shows how excited Liverpool fans are of acquiring a player that could potentially do as well as Luis Suarez did. Furthermore, it is fairly common for fans to Photoshop pictures like this. Here’s one from last year, when Balotelli was being pursued by Arsenal (this one looks better in my opinion).