Mario Balotelli 21 Striker Manchester City
Novelty hat loving, Ipad toting PR disaster Balotelli has everything a top striker requires in his armoury. A devastating turn of pace, unhinged power and explosive finishing are all traits of this gifted young Italian who possesses a natural talent that, when focussed, few can deal with.
As is often the case with such gifted individuals temperament is an issue, and in Balotelli’s case it is a major issue. A very major issue.
Performed in fits and starts at City as he settled and originally made it clear he was unhappy in Manchester. It was difficult to see where Mario might feel at home having rattled several cages in Italy too.
That said, and despite appearing likely to play second, third or fourth fiddle to City’s senior strikers, Balotelli has managed to keep out of the headlines of late and turned in some very credible performances when selected.
Roberto Mancini seems to be an ideal mentor and how Balotelli is used over the coming season will be interesting to see. City are attacking on several fronts this year and Balotelli’s contribution will be essential to provide cover and competition for Dzeko, Aguero and, if applicable, Tevez.
Mario is still young, but will he mature and fulfil his potential? Six months ago we’d have put our mortgage on the answer being a firm ‘no’, but a penny may well have dropped recently.
It’s down to Mario from this point onward. Things could get exciting.
"Often ridiculous, now more regularly sublime and potentially one of the best players in the Premier League. Intriguing." - Neil Sherwin (Back Page Football)
C Continue to knuckle down or you’ll regret this for the rest of your life.