Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Balotelli Gamble

After Liverpool successfully secured the signing of Mario Balotelli shortly before their clash with the impressive Manchester City, we thought we'd take a look at whether this was a genius move or whether Liverpool were doomed. Please feel free to add comments with your opinions, I'd love to know what others think!

I won't bore you with Balotelli's past, who he played for when he was 11, how many goals he scored for them, what his favourite colour as as a child etc., what I want to talk about is his impact on the Liverpool team. 

Liverpool nabbed Balotelli for a fee reported to be around £16m (BBC Sports) and I think this is a pretty good price. If you go on twitter you'll see all the comparisons like the fact that Balotelli only cost Liverpool £5m more than Fulham paid for Ross Mcormack and if you look at it like that then it probably is good value. However, don't forget, Milan were trying to sell him and I can imagine it's incredibly difficult to push the price up with someone who has a history like Mario does. I think only time will tell if it was good value for money but he definitely represents a huge risk.

When Balotelli was at City, I was never a huge fan. I appreciated that he had a few moments of brilliance but they were very few and far between. If I'm honest, I thought he was overrated and every time I'd seen him, he seemed to be sulking and ineffective. However this doesn't seem to be the player that Milan signed. I think Milan was a great move for him, he left the English media behind and had a chance to start again in his home country. He also had a big reputation and this excited the Milan fans and this seemed to encourage him. Balotelli made a huge impact scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances and looked to be threatening to show some of his talent. He almost became Milan's talisman and in my opinion he benefitted from being a big fish in a comparatively smaller pond than City's. 

Will Mario Balotelli be a flop or superstar?
pollcode.com free polls

Next season Balotelli grabbed 18 in 41 in all comps, a pretty decent return, however what I noticed is his removal from the headlines, he really seems to have found a way to get stuck in. 
I was really impressed with Balotelli's performance against England in the World Cup too. It was a mature performance, not just because he scored the winning goal but he seemed a genuine threat.

Despite all this, his agent was right, it was Balotelli's last chance for a move to a big club, his last chance to reignite his career and reach his potential. I believe Liverpool and Rodgers are a good choice. Balotelli will bring support for Sturridge who I don't think is quite ready to take the entire burden up front. Rodgers will be able to mentor Balotelli well, however I'm not so convinced he'll prevent his antics, especially after he effectively failed to do so with Suarez. Although, this all depends on Balotelli himself, perhaps he really is a changed man.

On paper, Balotelli and Sturridge for attacking options sounds pretty lethal, but do I think he'll turn into one of the best strikers in the world? No. Do I think he'll do well at Liverpool? Yes. In short I'm almost sitting in the middle, I don't think he'll ever reach this astronomical potential that most seem convinced he possesses as quite frankly I don't think he does. However, I do think he's a decent player and can definitely get quite a few goals a season for Liverpool. So, in my opinion, don't expect fireworks (apart from off the pitch) or a future Ballon d'Or, but expect a raw talent who can be coached into a very good striker.

What would you rate this article out of 5?
pollcode.com free polls

Also, don't forget we're looking for writers to write a few articles for the site. If you are interested then get in touch:



Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please don't post spam comments or adverts or they will be deleted!