Mario Balotelli/Liverpool Move: The Pros And Cons

Mario Balotelli

We all knew Liverpool still needed a big name signing this summer and probably a new centre-forward. Names like Edinson Cvani and Radamel Falcao have been linked constantly this month. 

Yet in a surprising twist it’s been heavily reported that the Anfield club have agreed a deal to bring in AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli. Now with a reported fee of £16m for the Italian international you’d expect everyone to be applauding the ‘Reds’ in getting a player with undoubted qualities for such a decent price. Yet a lot of people have raised eyebrows and are wondering if it will be a bit of a risky transfer especially after ditching Luis Suarez. 

So I thought I’d look at some of the pros and cons of bringing Mario back to England. 

First up the PROS:

Well even though we have known of Mario Balotelli for so long, he’s only just turned twenty-four. He is of an age where he can still get better and become more consistent.

Balotelli has all the tools to make him one of the worlds best complete strikers. He has pace, plenty of strength, silky skills, ability in the air  and on the ground plus he is a great one for the set pieces. On his day he can be unplayable.

He could develop a good understanding with Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. Sturridge knows what its like to play with a maverick partner and did well playing second fiddle to Luis Suarez. Why can’t he do the same with Mario? Liverpool captain Gerrard plays deeper and likes a long diagonal ball. It was a pass that Suarez loved and lived off. Now with the Azzurri, Andrea Pirlo and Balotelli had a very similar understanding.

Balotelli certainly brings star appeal and charisma. In the footballing world this signing will be viewed as a marquee transfer. The exposure for the club will be beneficial as they continue to try and grow in new markets.

Manager Brendan Rodgers managed to get the best out of live-wire Suarez and could nurture Mario the same way and get the best out of him too.

The £16m fee for a twenty-four year old who is an established Italian international and has won three Scudettos, a Premier League title, an FA Cup and a Champions League is pretty darn good by anyones standards. Especially if you compare it to a few other deals Liverpool have done recently. Plus with his age and obvious potential, they could sell him on for a big profit in the future should they choose.

Now for the CONS:

Ok the fee is good but is it too good to be true? Why are Milan wanting rid of a prize asset for less than they got him? Man City did the same and this would be his fourth club in five years. Plus say he is on £120k a week with a five year contract. The players contract would be worth a potential £31.2m on top of that £16m fee.

The players discipline has always been called into question. He has been sent-off five times in the past four seasons and picked up quite a collection of yellow cards too. His challenges can be rash and his temper can be lost at the drop of a hat.

Mario also has the ability to create disharmony within his own club. Falling out with managers and fighting with teammates on the training ground. No doubt he is sometimes the scapegoat but it seems to happen too often in Balotelli’s case for him to be totally blameless. Liverpool are wise in trying to establish a behaviour clause into his lucrative contract.

Will he be committed in returning to England? Mario has made no secrets of the fact that he doesn’t like the British weather, food or the media. I doubt these things have changed in a year and a bit. He also needs to be fully committed on the park. Suarez was often let off by Liverpool and their fans for his misdemeanours because he constantly gave 100% on the pitch. Mario has the ability to go missing during games and stop trying.

Can Balotelli stay out of trouble in Liverpool? Is Liverpool too small for Balo and is it too near to his old haunting grounds in Manchester? To be fair is anywhere capable of providing enough for Mario without providing too much?

So there you have it. Just some of the pros and cons. I hope that the deal works out for both Liverpool and Mario Balotelli. Especially the player. If he can just concentrate on the football I do believe we could see such a gifted world class centre forward who can dominate defences both domestically and in Europe. But alas with every transfer deal it’s a risk and only time will tell. 

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