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West Ham must resist Balotelli urge

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

David Gold and David Sullivan simply have to avoid the pull of signing Mario Balotelli this summer.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker has been offered to the club after his contract at Marseille expired.

Now, one feels that this might be a classic piece of Hammers transfer activity.

Balotelli is a recognisable name; he has played for major European clubs; he has Premier League experience; he would sell shirts.

And yet, quite frankly, he’s nothing short of a bad influence.

He has been through a laundry list of genuinely astonishing behaviour, from setting his own bathroom on fire with fireworks to allegedly paying a restaurant owner to drive a moped into the sea.

West Ham are desperate to sign a striker, of course they are. They have lost Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG and have allowed both Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll to leave the club. Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill are the sole striking survivors.

There is, of course, a case to be made for this deal but you won’t find it here.

Balotelli has had his chance in the Premier League and it was categorised by peaks – the majority of his time at City – and troughs – his four-goal spell at Liverpool.

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And Arnautovic’s departure should teach both Gold and Sullivan a lesson.

The Austria international was an equally controversial figure and twice asked to leave, doing so firstly in January.

Bringing in another firebrand, another figure who cannot be trusted to keep his name out of the headlines from one day to the next makes precious little sense.

The answer has to be a rather firm no to the representatives who have reached out to the Hammers; Balotelli cannot be allowed to bring his brand of controversy to east London.

Article title: West Ham must resist Balotelli urge

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