With one month to go of the summer transfer window, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is still trying to sign 19 year old Inter Milan forward, Mario Balotelli for the second time in his career.
Mario Balotelli was destined for great heights as early as the age of 16 when he signed for the Nerazzurri. The Ghanian-born Italian under 21 international broke into the first time in Serie A when aged just 17, and gained national attention with a brace against rivals Juventus in the Coppa Italia that season. In the following two seasons that have passed, Balotelli has been a bigger part of the first team and a regular in their Champions League matches too. His goalscoring record in the Champions League is poor for a striker currently, but Manchester City fans need not worry about that should they sign him this month. A 1/3 record in domestic competition is pretty impressive from the wide forward, who didn’t always play 90 minutes under Jose Mourinho, and who also takes set pieces.
His talent is unquestionable. A pacey wide player who could devastate a few Premier League defences. However, he is both frustrating to watch for fans and team mates alike. A player who trips over shadows more often than Arjen Robben, Mario Balotelli isn’t one to get back and join in with the defensive side of the job. He can take a decent set piece, has blistering pace, great touch and a good finish. The beholder of more than enough quality to light up the Premier League, should he be in the right mental state and well guided.
His off the field behaviour is one that could get him in the spotlight often with the way the English media love stalking top Premier League footballers. As a child, Mario Balotelli once annoyed his local priest on a trip to the mountains, so bad that he was made to walk the journey home. Only recently did he make the news for doing donuts in one of his sports cars… drunk. In between these events, trouble for Balotelli has included being fined by his team and being seen wearing the shirt of rivals AC Milan. Is he mature enough for the pressures that come with playing at the top end of the Premier League?
Not participating in Inter Milan’s 3-0 victory over Manchester City in a pre season friendly this past weekend has only increased speculation that Balotelli is set to join Manchester City. With Martin Petrov already sold to Bolton Wanderers, Robinho wanting a move away from the club and Craig Bellamy constantly linked with a move away from the club this summer, there is space for Mario Balotelli down the left wing in the starting line up. And there is certainly room for another talented, somewhat controversial character in the Premier League…