Mario Balotelli is one of the few football greats who combine genius on the pitch with utter madness off it. Could he split Liverpool's dressing room? I believe so and here is why.
Jose Mourinho once called him ‘uncoachable’ and we all remember his public fights with former City manager, Roberto Mancini. So why does Brendan Rodgers think he can handle Balotelli after he just sold ‘problem child’ Luis Suarez for a club record fee?
Liverpool have steadily improved under Rodgers, only missing out by a few points to Manchester City’s money machine in the title race last season. The Reds are playing an attractive brand of football and, although, they are leaking goals at the back, the club’s fans are confident going into the new season.
Until recently, they had done ok in the transfer window, acquiring the services of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Marcovic, Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno. Signings good enough to compete with the league’s best and to have a decent run in the Champions League. Now, Rodgers’ hunt for a new striker to replace Suarez’s 31 goals has ended with Mario Balotelli.
Many claim that ‘Super Mario’ could be the signing of the transfer window for just £16 million. But is he really what Liverpool need and where will he play?
Rodgers already has Daniel Sturridge, a very talented and skilful scorer, whose attitude could clash with Balotelli. Can they combine together on the pitch like the ‘SAS’ partnership between Suarez and Sturridge did, I doubt it.
Suarez was a different type of player, even though he also steps over boundaries, he has a brilliant attitude on the football pitch, wanting to win at all costs. Balotelli, meanwhile, is well-known for his laziness and tendency to go missing in the big games. With 204 goals in 322 career games Suarez has 0,64 goals per game ratio, while Balotelli has only hit the target 88 times in 220 games with a goals per game ratio of 0,4.
But Rodgers game is based on pressing and running, so unless Balotelli totally changes his attitude, he will either hinder Liverpool’s game or Rodgers will change his style and system to make space for 'Super Mario'.
It doesn’t take much to split a unified dressing room and Balotelli’s every move will closely watched by the media.
What's your take, will Mario Balotelli split Liverpool's dressing room? Have your say in the comment section below.