Rodgers Liverpool

3 Reasons Why Super Mario Is An Astute Signing For Liverpool

Mario Balotelli is all but back in the Premier League. He burst onto the scene with his performances under Jose Mourinho at Inter, but he found fame after his move to Manchester City in 2011. His sojourn with City didn’t end well, with inconsistency plaguing his career, a poor media image as a troublemaker and his bust-up with Roberto Mancini were what made him leave the Premier League and go back to Italy to play for AC Milan. At AC Milan, racial abuse, media criticism and a failure to get the team into the European competition spots, added to a poor World Cup display have added to the fans’ disillusionment and has made his life miserable in Italy.

Barbara Berlusconi of AC Milan has not objected to his sale, as they were looking to offload him for as much as they could get for him. They wish to get rid of their most controversial player after last season’s debacle, and this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Rodgers had said that he was not looking to sign him earlier, but has now seemingly backtracked, as Mario is available at a bargain, and his quality and talent cannot be questioned. Three reasons why Super Mario will be an astute signing for Liverpool, are:

1. His talent. His skill-set. His proven match-winning ability:

Mario Balotelli is talented. His skills, while on the pitch, are beyond doubt. His ability to conjure goals out of nothing, take the most outrageous of chances and keep defenders in fear of him are what will make him an asset to Liverpool. He can compete with Daniel Sturridge for a first-team place, which can only be good for Liverpool, as both will spur each other to perform. He scored 30 goals in 54 games at Milan, and prior to that, he scored 30 in 80 games at Manchester City. His Premier League stats are not astounding, as he took time to settle at City and he made most of his appearances as a substitute. At Liverpool, he will be given a fair chance to fight for his place, and good work on the pitch will be rewarded with a fair run in the first-team.

2. “Why always me?”

Obviously, Mario will be tired of asking the same question, all the time. He has a point to prove. He needs to make this move a success, as his value to the clubs at which he has played has been plunging, because his off-field antics are taking an effect on his on-field game. Diminishing returns and a near-stagnation in his footballing development are a huge threat now. He needs to get his priorities right and he needs to change his media image. The English media loved making headlines of his antics, and villified him when he failed to deliver while on the pitch. Distributing wads of money, lighting fireworks in his bathroom, riding a tricycle, making a harsh tackle on Scott Sinclair while on the training pitch are some of the images that come to mind from his previous stay in England. There are positive memories such as his amazing assist which enabled Ag├╝ero to score the goal that won City the Premier League, or his brace in the 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford, too. These positives were overshadowed by the negatives, the last time around. If Pirlo’s statements about Mario’s maturity are proved true, we could have many more happy memories of Mario.

3. Rodgers’ man-management:

If this move works, Rodgers’ and Balotelli’s stars can only rise. If it fails, Rodgers will be lauded for trying, while Mario’s career will end up in tatters. At the moment, the squad has a settled look, with no ‘egos’ or divisions among the players. Will Mario fit in? Rodgers has handled players with ‘bad-boy reputations’ before, and has brought out the best in them. However, Mario? That will be taking Rodgers’ penchant of making dependable players out of bad boys to a new level.

Obviously, the signing means more to Mario than to Liverpool, which means that he will give his all, while on the pitch. His contemporaries and competitors at Liverpool, Sturridge and Sterling, in recent years, have been able to get over their off-field obstacles and silence their detractors with their consistent performances. Can Balo do the same?

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