Liverpool seals Balotelli transfer from AC Milan

MarioBalotelliLiverpoolPresentation1 (LiverpoolFC).jpg

By DAN KARELL

Mario Balotelli is officially a Red.

A year and a half after departing Manchester City for his native Italy, Mario Balotelli completed a reported £16 million transfer move to Liverpool, returning to the English Premier League. The club announced the move on Monday and stated that Balotelli will wear No. 45 at Anfield.

“I’m very happy. We’ve been talking about coming here and now I’m happy to be here,” Balotelli said in a press release. “Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England and the football is very good here. It’s a great team with young players, and that’s why I came here.”

Although Balotelli has signed with Liverpool, his registration was not processed in time for him to be available to make his debut against his former club, Man City, in this afternoon’s highly-anticipated match between the two clubs.

While at AC Milan, the 24-year-old Italian international scored 30 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions. Balotelli began last season on a goal-scoring tear but slowed down mightily towards the end of the season. At the 2014 World Cup, Balotelli scored once, the game-winner against England, but was unable to lift Italy out of the group stages.

Balotelli came up as a 15-year-old with Serie C side Lumezzane before making the move in 2007 to Inter Milan, where he stayed through 2010. In the summer of 2010, Balotelli made his first move to England, joining Man City. His two and a half year stay in England was mired by off the field hijinks and poor public relations, though at times Balotelli showed the kind of talent on the field that made him one of the world’s most sought after forwards.

“This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here,” the boss told Liverpoolfc.com. “There is no doubting Mario’s ability; he is a world-class talent and someone who, for such a young age, has vast experience of playing at the very highest level. He has scored goals in the Barclays Premier League, in Italy, in the Champions League and for his country at international level.

“I believe we have the infrastructure, culture and environment to get the best out of him and help him achieve his true potential. We are a strong group here, committed to hard work and he will benefit from being around it. I am looking forward to working with him and helping him learn more, improve and progress as a player. I’m sure the supporters will make him feel very welcome.”

Balotelli will be expected to slot in either alongside forward Daniel Sturridge in a 4-4-2 formation or play the center forward role in a 4-3-3 formation, with Sturridge moving out wide. Liverpool were able to afford to make the transfer based on the reported £65 million transfer fee received from Barcelona for forward Luis Suarez this summer.

——————

What do you think of this transfer? Do you see Balotelli scoring plenty of goals in England? Think he is overrated? How do you see him fitting into the team?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Liverpool seals Balotelli transfer from AC Milan

  1. Dinho says:

    As much of a headache as he can be, this is a steal.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      I agree, for that amount of money there is not much risk, I think the reward will be huge. Im a big Mario fan, hope he can put it together for the reds.

    • Bomb Wielding Maniacs says:

      Good to see that they’ve liberated themselves of the Luis Suarez distractions by signing Mario Balotelli. At last some sanity!

  2. whoop-whoop says:

    Seems the right move, under the right manager and club at the right time in his career. He and Sturridge are going to give defenses absolute fits. I’ll be tuning in.

    • Joamiq says:

      Not sure about that. He and Sturridge are not really complementary forwards at all. I don’t know why Liverpool would even consider shifting a guy who scored 24 goals last year out to the wing to accommodate as unreliable a player as Balotelli.

  3. reignman says:

    Where is the picture of him leaning against the bookshelf like all other Liverpool signings? Always a classic

  4. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    It’s been years that the EPL title will be actually open. You have ManU in their crisis, Liverpool will be better than last year, man city same good team, Chelsea with mou, arsenal looks very good, and the mid table teams are give them war since they know, the epl is really open this year.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I agree…except for the argument that Liverpool will be better. Saurez is not easily replaced and now they have the grind of the Champions League to manage for the first time. I don’t think they repeat last year’s performance.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        On the surface, from a purely logical stance- I have to think you are right. Suarez has to be considered a bigger threat- he is an absolute wizard… able to create incredible somethings out of nothing like few on the planet. Liverpool had matches last year where they were unable to pose much of a threat and Suarez magic saved the day. Then again, there are no other Suarez clones floating around and Mario was one hell of a get/piece of damage control at a very fair price. Balotelli is a monster when he is on and soccer is a crazy game… sometimes a combo of players has a synchronistic effect and becomes greater than the sum. For whatever reason, I have a hunch this might work out quite well for for Liverpool… that Rogers may well be the man sympathetic to his eccentricities, while demanding enough to help tap into all of Mario’s potential. Going to be fun to see how it plays out.

        • Isaac says:

          Gotta say I agree with the note about Rodgers being quite suited to deal with Mario’s attitude. I see the Sturbridge and Balloteli being variable enough and lethal enough to make defenses and managers very scared of either sitting deep or playing high up… I see a diamond with Coutinho at the tip behind Danny Boi and Super Mario, Sterling at one side of the diamond being so active defensively and agile offensively, and Gerrard or Henderson on the other. Stevie G as a lone holder is…interesting, and I could see it winning them games, but not having an alternative to that may prove costly

        • John says:

          The big difference is Suarez will do everything in his power to win. His history of crossing the line of what he’s willing to do is well documented. Balotelli will score you some goals if you get him service. However if you don’t he quickly becomes apathetic and a problem.

    • smartestonthepitch says:

      I don’t think so. MU, MC, Chelsea and may, just may Arsenal That is it. no chance for anyone else.

      • Dennis says:

        Not so sure about MU. They look very shaky on defense even if their attack is good 3 or 4 players are not enough to carry a team to the top of the EPL.

    • Joamiq says:

      Open? It’s between Chelsea and City. Race for 3rd and 4th should be interesting though.

  5. Tony in Quakeland says:

    As a Gooner, I spent a lot of the summer hoping Arsenal would sign him. According to one of the English papers, Wenger soured on the deal after watching him in the World Cup, deciding he was too inconsistent. Now, of course, I hope Wenger was right – but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I would be happy with signing him, especially at this money.

    Nonetheless, it is incredible that you can replace Suarez with another striker and NOT significantly increase the sanity quotient on your team…

  6. njrb says:

    Ad zlatan said, he’s an average player

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Enjoy Balotelli but glad he doesn’t play for any team I support. Nobody knows what motivates him, and it’s becoming less cute as it becomes more apparent that “winning” is probably not it. But I respect any man who blows up toilets with firecrackers, regardless of age.

  7. dude1 says:

    Talk about high risk, high reward signings. The money isn’t the issue, his attitude, consistency, and work ethic are. This is a huge wild card. Personally, don’t think Liverpool will like him after a few months. He’d have to undergo a personality change and a 180 in terms of commitment.