People make mistakes. It is the unavoidable constant of life that we all have to endure. Very often these mistakes also get repeated, but no matter what, we make mistakes and we learn from them. In case we were to make the same mistake too often, then it would become a decision. We can easily categorize Liverpool’s signing of Mario Balotelli for 16 million pounds from A.C. Milan a mistake. But if Liverpool were to keep Mario Balotelli for another season then it would certainly go down as a blunder of epic proportions.
I am still not sure as to why Brendan Rodgers and the transfer committee that Liverpool have in place actually went for Balotelli. In his last season before joining Liverpool, the forward scored 18 goals in all competitions for Milan. Yes, that is an impressive tally indeed but what were the chances that he could pull of something similar, or even close to it in a league as competitive as the Barclays Premier League?
The Italy international scored just the one time for City in the last half a season he spent in England. Yes, once again I will accept that he did go onto score an extremely impressive tally of 12 goals in 13 appearances after moving back to Italy in the winter transfer window of the 2012/2013 season.
But despite all I have to say in his favour, what exactly where the club thinking when they decided to spend 16 million pounds on him. If indeed they had to take a gamble, couldn’t they have spent it better on any other forward who does not attract as much attention as the maverick Italian? I always felt that Mario Mandzukic, who signed for Atletico Madrid from Bayern Munich for around 20 million pounds would have been a better deal that we could have gone for.
Similarly, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang who joined Borussia Dortmund from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2013 for hardly 11 million pounds should have been another player who we could have targeted. If in any case we were looking for a gamble, then surely the chances of winning out on a good deal would have been significantly higher had we signed either of these two lads.
In fact, I’d have rather we signed Radamel Falcao on a loan from Monaco. So, as you can see, I feel that the entire Mario Balotelli deal was ridiculous. It was a panic buy, and there are no two ways about it. Also, it was the kind of a marquee signing that was needed to appease the fans after we lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona for a very, very hefty transfer fee.
As you may have already gauged from the way this article is panning out, I do not have too much good to say about Balotelli. Something that I will not do here is sit down and judge his character. All throughout his life Mario has been portrayed as an evil, conniving goblin who spreads nothing but death and destruction wherever he goes, but to me that is a big pile of manure. I feel that he is a genuinely good bloke who leads the easy life and enjoys a good laugh. Looking at the matter from his angle, why would he not want to lay back a bit, especially when you consider the tough upbringing that he has had.
Coming back to matters on the pitch though, I would still say that he is not what Liverpool Football Club need at the moment. There is no way that he alone can propel Liverpool to a Champions League position, forget about the top of the table. At most, what he can do is score a formidable number of goals, probably around 10 or 12 in a season.
He may be big name in the football world, but you need to keep in mind that in all the nine full seasons that he has played at the top level, he has never, ever reached the 20 goal mark. That is not something that you would expect from a top, top striker. And also, that return is not possible to single handedly boost a team any higher than it already should be.
In my humble opinion, I feel that Liverpool should cut their losses on the man and let him go as soon as possible. But the problem is that that, is no mean feat. Balotelli has developed a toxic reputation in all his years and there is a sense of anxiety at the slightest hint of his name. So, to find a club who will be willing to pay money for a player like him has got to be a tough, tough ask and I can only hope that the Reds manage to pull of the impossible and actually sell him off for at least even 70% of what they paid to Milan.