Mario Balotelli has had an underwhelming year at Liverpool, scoring only four goals in 26 appearances. The Italian was supposed to help the Reds find the back of the net after the loss of prolific goal scorer Luis Suarez, but whether he’s still adapting to his new club or is just not the player everyone once thought he could be, Balotelli seems to have lost his way.
In the last five years the forward has played for three different clubs and has ultimately been unable to live up to the hype that continually surrounds him. His charismatic personality will always draw the media to him, but if he doesn’t have a good season soon then his reputation is likely to falter beyond repair. If he does leave Liverpool this summer then here are FIVE other English teams that could rejuvenate his career.
The Villans should just narrowly avoid the drop thanks to the recent heroics of forward Christian Benteke. Though if the Belgian had been more consistent then maybe Aston Villa wouldn’t have come so close to disaster in the first place. To have a player with the world class experience of Balotelli would be quite the coup for the Birmingham-based club, though would be seen as a big step down for ‘Balo’. But perhaps to be at a club like Villa, whose expectations are much lower than that he is used to, it may be exactly what the Italian needs. And if Benteke does leave as some have rumoured then Balotelli could be worth taking a chance on.
Balotelli would be lucky to be signed by a club like Tottenham after the terrible season he’s had, but with the north London club about to have a big summer clear out then the Italian could find himself brought in as perhaps a second or third choice attacking option, even if it is just on a year-long loan deal. Spurs want to break into the top four and so if Balotelli helped to make that possible then he could find his stock around Europe rising very rapidly. A particularly strong end to the season would have to take place though before Mauricio Pochettino would even entertain this thought.
Newcastle are at a crossroads. Only nine wins all season has left fans feeling disappointed and angry so much so that some chose to boycott the Magpies’ last match to ensure that their concerns would not be ignored. The club has a habit of selling their best players without properly lining up signings to mitigate the loss. Some on Tyneside may think that Balotelli’s failure at Liverpool would mean he’d underperform for them, but there is every chance that under the right guidance and with enough regular opportunities that the striker could finally live up to his potential.
The Hammers have found it hard to record enough wins this campaign finding themselves joint fourth for the most amount of games that have ended in draws. With forward Andy Carroll in and out of the team due to reoccurring injuries West Ham should consider whether or not they can truly rely on the inconsistent 26 year old. With Balotelli they would at least have a striker whose body is quite resilient and likely to see him through most of the season.
The Toffees will need to overhaul their squad this summer after a disastrous campaign which could have ended with them being relegated. Playing in the Europa League overstretched the team and if they want to have a better season next time around then the acquisition of a decent goal scorer has to be on the wish list. At his best Balotelli was scoring 18 goals a season and manager Roberto Martinez could turn out to be the right man to get the Italian back on form, even if it would mean luring him across Stanley Park.