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Aug 222014

Well, barring a failed medical (which has already happened to Liverpool once this summer), Mario Balotelli will be the latest signing for Brendan Rodgers in the 2014 summer transfer window.

It’s the stuff of dreams for any publication: Liverpool FC and Mario Balotelli. But how will it all work out? There’s a lot, both positive and negative, to consider from Liverpool’s perspective.

Pro: The (reported) £16 million fee

For a player of Balotelli’s stature and ability, this fee (if accurate) is a huge steal. He may not play consistently, but when he does Balotelli scores at a rate of approximately one goal per 140 minutes. Despite his inconsistency, you could argue Balotelli has been Milan’s best player over the last two years and it’s pretty shocking to see them let him go for such a nominal fee.

Con: Tactical fit

At the end of the day, Balotelli is pretty much the same player as Daniel Sturridge. Both struggle to create on their own and wily heavily upon other players for their goals. Balotelli could be played out wide as a winger in the 4-3-3 Brendan Rodgers prefers, but his most natural fit is that lone striker spot that Sturridge and Rickie Lambert will occupy for much of the season.

Pro: Champions League Depth

In my season preview I wrote about how Liverpool’s “depth” right now is more about quantity than quality. If you want to compete in the Champions League and still fight for a top 4 finish in the league, you need more than just extra bodies. When he’s on point, Balotelli is capable of usurping Sturridge’s starting spot. Even if they can’t play together, it’s a huge benefit having two world class strikers available when you’re playing 2-3 times in 7 days.

Con: Media Scrutiny

The British tabloids can be pretty…thorough. A lot will be expected of Balotelli and the headlines will write themselves pretty fast if he gets out of line while in Liverpool. The biggest question mark of this move is whether or not he can block all of the distractions out.

Pro: Brendan Rodgers

Daniel Sturridge was a troubled young man in need of a fresh start when he arrived at Liverpool. Now he’s thriving under Brendan Rodgers’ management. Luis Suarez’s troubles are well documented. Any manager who can maximize the production of such volatile personalities should, at the very least, be prepared to deal with a player like Balotelli.

Con: Balotelli’s Attitude

This is the biggest question mark of all. Will Balotelli work hard enough to overcome the distractions and naysayers? If he does, Liverpool could be ready to contend for the title already. If he doesn’t…well, we’ve seen this story before…


All things considered, I’m cautiously optimistic about this signing. The fee is so small that this becomes a low risk, high reward investment. Brendan Rodgers should be able to get at least SOME production out of the enigmatic Italian, even if he has to juggle Balotelli and Sturridge between the same spot for both league and Champions League games. If he performs to the degree he’s capable, Balotelli immediately vaults Liverpool into the same conversation as Chelsea and Manchester City as legitimate title contenders. If the worst should happen, Balotelli never sees the field and Liverpool continues on with the team they currently have: a team more than capable of competing for fourth place and being competitive in their Champions League group.


Balotelli jersey sales will go through the roof and bring Liverpool a small bit of unexpected income. How do I know? Because I’ve never bought a soccer jersey with a player’s name on it. I’m giving serious though to buying one with the name “Balotelli” on it.

Adam Uthe

VP of Content Development for GFT and proud supporter of Columbus Crew (MLS) and Liverpool FC (EPL). @AUtheGFT

  One Response to “The Pros And Cons Of Liverpool Signing Mario Balotelli”

  1. And, we’re going to be privy some bat crap crazy entertainment from him too.

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