The latest Mario Balotelli saga has ended, this time at Liverpool for now. Re-joining AC Milan on loan for the season will benefit him massively as it is the place he calls home. Never far away from the headlines Mario didn’t really show that attitude or immaturity we have seen elsewhere when at Liverpool, so what did go wrong for the Italian forward?
Firstly, Mario doesn’t help himself on the pitch, he didn’t work hard enough, the talent he does have is very rarely criticised but his far away attitude is not what a manager needs around his squad. The other issue is one that Mario has identified from as early as his Inter Milan days; he doesn’t work well in a lone striker role. Now Liverpool the previous season did everything they could to accommodate Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, playing with 2 strikers nearly every game. Then they buy Mario and change to playing a 4-3-3 with a lone striker and play him as a one. Last season Rogers was guilty of playing many players out of position and in different roles but the calamity signing of Balotelli must not just rest on his shoulders.
Going to AC Milan is no surprise as Siniša Mihajlović even when at Sampdoria was targeting Mario so he is going to play for a manager who wants to have him there. He also will get to play with a striker whether it is Carlos Bacca or Luis Adriano it gives the frontline a real forceful look providing Mario buys into everything the club is looking to achieve. Returning to Italy will give Balotelli a much better chance to re-join the national team as well, he has been left out of the squad for too long now and with the ability he possesses he surely would be a starter on the national front. Whether Mihajlović plays a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 Balotelli can fit into the system, he can play from the left hand side cutting in or as the striker getting sufficient support. The move could really be Mario’s last opportunity he needs to let the football do the talking now and not his antics and attitude, Milan have made him sign a behavioural contract as well ensuring he doesn’t focus on his haircuts or his outfits it is a purely football move and one that should really bring Mario back and show the form that everyone really does know he have. A move that gets his character away from Liverpool but really they need to ask themselves did we do enough for Mario. For now though Milan’s gain is Liverpool’s loss.