Mario Balotelli, one of the most promising young players of his time has had a true rollercoaster of a career behind him, which as recent reports suggest just might send him back to Premier League, where “Super Mario” would become a part of the “Hammers”.
Mario Balotelli is a prime example of a player who had a lot of potentials but failed to utilize it. Following the spectacular start of his football career at Inter, he moved to Manchester City, Milan and Liverpool, when his career came to a halt. At Liverpool, Balotelli proved to be a massive flop. He scored only 4 goals in 28 matches, which saw him leaving Anfield to join Nice where he remained for 3 seasons. Following his less than impressive run at Liverpool, Balotelli seemingly woke up once he arrived in France and started to look like his former self once more. In 3 seasons with Nice, he scored 33 goals, 16 of which he scored in the first season alone. Following his stay at Nice, he moved to Marseille, who announced last week Balotelli’s departure from the club, meaning the 28-year-old Italian striker is once again left without a club and in search for a new employer.
As a striker who scored impressive 8 goals in 15 matches for Marseille, it was only a matter of time before he would find another club, and as it was announced recently, his agent Mino Raiola contacted West Ham who could add the Italian striker to their team for free, with only demand being that they work out €4 million per year for his wages. A possible return of Balotelli to one of the strongest leagues in the world would give him another chance to prove his worth which has been a struggle for him ever since his disastrous spell at Liverpool.
While the deal with West Ham is nowhere near done, we have to acknowledge, Balotelli could potentially be a great addition to the Hammers, who are looking to fill the void left behind by the departure of Marko Arnautovic who joined Shanghai SIPG. As a player who is more than capable of scoring goals and becomes extremely deadly once he finds his rhythm, West Ham could have an exceptional attacking trio in Mario Balotelli, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, if they decide on signing the Italian striker.
However, there is one big problem and its name is wages. With a rather high asking price of €4 million per year, West Ham will need to find a way to pay for Mario Balotelli’s services if they wish to add him to the team. And while money could prove to be an issue, there is another thing that West Ham needs to acknowledge. It’s the controversy Mario Balotelli brings with him. Widely regarded as one of the most difficult players to “tame”, he has been involved in numerous controversies on and off the pitch, which arguably harmed his career as a whole. While he has stated several times before he has changed, he failed to prove that really is the case. Bringing a controversial player like Balotelli into the team could create unrest in the squad, which is not something Manuel Pellegrini would like to see.
Should West Ham look past the controversy, they will still need to find €4 million per year to afford Balotelli, which could prove to be a huge gamble, considering Balotelli has not stepped foot in the EPL for 5 years and has had his own ups and downs in his career.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.