Every fan’s excitement during any transfer window is usually through the roof. Who’s coming in? Why are they selling him? And why are they not buying anyone? Are usually the main questions on many football fanatics’ lips.
None more so than Liverpool fans, who were so close to finally getting their hands on the Premier League title. Now, with Champions League football, Brendan Rodgers could potentially boast the bargain of the season, after the £16million addition of Mario Balotelli.
Controversial, short-tempered, eccentric, audacious and immensely talented are just some of the words to describe the former Manchester City striker. And it’s not just Liverpool that are ranting and raving about Super Mario returning to England’s top flight. It’s safe to say that neutrals everywhere are just as excited to see the Italian back in the Barclays Premier League.
Nevertheless, some fans know that Super Mario could be too hot to handle for the Reds, with his reputation of going off the rails well publicised.
After bursting onto the scene at Inter Milan, Balotelli’s relationship with Jose Mourinho reached breaking point, with the ‘Special One’ constantly criticising his work rate, even saying after a Serie A match against Roma that his performance was worth a ‘zero rating’. The final straw came when the madcap Italian, who was now coming under scrutiny from his own supporters, did a television interview in an AC Milan jersey.
After his outrageous antics, Manchester City took a huge gamble on the starlet, paying £24milion for an enigmatic character, but one that immediately became a fans’ favourite. However, the controversy failed to stop. Supposedly being allergic to grass in a game against Dynamo Kiev, having training ground bust ups with manager Roberto Mancini and defender Micah Richards and being sent off on several occasions were just some of the antics Balotelli ended up being involved in.
Manchester City upset Balotelli by fining him for a bad disciplinary record, which the striker took to a tribunal, with a ban of 11 games the resulting outcome. In 2013 he was shipped out to his boyhood club AC Milan where according to reports, he apparently matured and even began to keep a low profile.
But now it’s Liverpool’s turn to deal with the audacious striker. After the staggering £75m sale of star man Luis Suarez to Spanish giants FC Barcelona, Balotelli was the chosen man to replace the Uruguayan.
After a frantic summer transfer window, which could potentially reach a staggering £1bn, Swiss stock broking firm Deloitte have predicted that Mario Balotelli’s £16m move from Ac Milan to Merseyside would be the bargain buy of the summer. With strength, power, a killer instinct in front of goal and a unflappable penalty taking record, a deadly partnership with Daniel Sturridge could well worry plenty of defenders at home and abroad.
However, the saying that a leopard never changes his spots very much applies to Super Mario. Already sulking at the fact that he can’t be the penalty taker for the Reds because of captain Steven Gerrard’s standing at the club, should fans see this as a the first sign that Balotelli will cause havoc on and off the pitch? Only time will tell.