Reports in the press suggest that Arsenal and Liverpool are looking to bring AC Milan’s former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli back to the England – but would that be such a good move for the Premier League giants?
Both Liverpool and Arsenal are looking to end long waits to win the Premier League – the Merseysiders are 6/1 to do so with the Gunners priced up at 10/1 – and are apparently looking at the former Inter man to add firepower to their ranks.
Balotelli has been one of the most controversial figures in world football over recent years, equally capable of moments of brilliance, petulance and downright craziness.
It is the latter two aspects of his character that should concern Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers, as well as the fact that the 23 year-old has so far been unable to produce the consistent performances his ability proposes he should.
Balotelli scored just four league goals in his last 20 games as a City player.
Much has been written about Balotelli’s natural talent, but the truth is that he remains a frustrating, inconsistent player and his stint in English football was hardly an unqualified success.
The Italian scored 20 league goals in two and a half seasons at Manchester City – a modest return that included five penalties – and he managed just four goals in his last 20 Premier League games as a City player.
The Italian has been sent off six times in the last four seasons.
Whatever his merits as a footballer, Balotelli is a liability when it comes to his disciplinary record, which has been shockingly bad ever since he broke into the limelight.
Since singing for Manchester City in the summer of 2010, Balotelli has been sent off six times and booked an incredible 48 times as his poor discipline continues to plague his career.
It doesn’t matter what the Italian does, trouble follows him around.
‘Why Always Me?’ Because, Mario, you keep getting yourself into ridiculous situations off the pitch.
It must be said that not all the trouble is of his own making – the theft of his house in Milan recently is a case in point – and such is the mythology of Balotelli it is hard to know which stories are true and which are fabricated.
But it can’t be denied that he has an unfortunate habit for attracting negative headlines and both Rodgers and Wenger should think long and hard before they bring that into their dressing room.