Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has endured a difficult time on Merseyside this season, and he needs to end his nightmare by returning to Italy.
Balotelli staying at Liverpool: 5 flops not on the move.
Sampdoria move for Balotelli: Could he be heading back to Serie A?
Balotelli poor performance: Another disappointing display from Italian.
After arriving from Milan last summer, the 24-year-old managed just four goals for Brendan Rodgers this year and his struggle was undoubtedly predicted by many.
According to the Metro, the Rossoneri are poised to make a bid to secure his return but unless new boss Sinisa Mihajlovic pushes for his signing, it is highly unlikely that the club will go back to an individual they previously lost faith in.
Balotelli’s return to Italy following his stint with Manchester City was considered the perfect time for his ‘homecoming’, particularly given that he was joining the club that he had supported as a child and one that was seen as being able to create the best environment to get the best out of him.
The Italian international was the focal point of the Milan team and in turn it resulted in him becoming the main protagonist for the Azzurri under Cesare Prandelli.
However, as soon as trouble started to brew with a dip in form and focus, questions were asked as to whether or not he could make it work anywhere if he couldn’t even settle at San Siro.
A switch to Liverpool gave him the opportunity to step out of the spotlight and play a vital role as a squad player, but it hasn’t worked out as hoped and he now faces another summer of transfer speculation.
So where does Balotelli go from here? Once considered as a top prospect that could emerge as one of the world’s best, Balotelli’s stock has continued to fall in recent years and it remains to be seen what he chooses to do.
Time is certainly still on his side given that he is still just 24, but ultimately he needs to join the right club and start to produce week in and week out if he is to restore his reputation and become an integral part of the Italian national squad again.
In order to do that, he needs to leave England and return to Serie A. However, he also needs to consider what the right fit would be for him and that doesn’t involve any of the top sides.
A switch to a club on the fringes of the Champions League places would arguably suit him perfectly, as it would allow him to focus on his football and avoid being under the scrutiny that comes with playing for one of the top clubs in Europe.
Ruling Milan out of the equation, a quick glance at the Serie A table would suggest that the likes of Genoa and Sampdoria would arguably be perfect landing spots for him, but ultimately this also comes down to ego and whether or not he would be willing to take that ‘step down’.
While Premier League fans will undoubtedly miss his charisma and personality, Balotelli isn’t going to make significant progress at Liverpool to the point where he is the main man at Anfield and is the key player for Italy at Euro 2016.
As he continues to underperform, he will also continue to be made a scapegoat and with Liverpool failing to live up to expectations this year, his poor performances have been an easy target to criticise.
It’s time for ‘Super Mario’ to start thinking about a change of scenery yet again, and if he finds a club at which he would feel important and be made the centrepiece of their attack, we may just start to see the best of Balotelli again.