Former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard has revealed that he always knew that Mario Balotelli’s spell at the club was going to end in disappointment.
Balotelli joined the Reds from AC Milan for £16m last summer, but after a disappointing first season at Anfield he was shipped back to the Rossoneri in a loan deal last month.
The Italian international made a positive impact for Milan in the derby with Inter on Sunday night, but Gerrard doesn’t see him becoming a success.
Gerrard, speaking in the serialisation of his book ‘My Story’ in the Daily Mail, “He [Brendan Rodgers] said: ‘You know we’ve missed out on a couple of signings. I’m basically left with no option to have a bit of a gamble.’
“Brendan paused before he spoke again: ‘The gamble is Mario Balotelli.’ My instant reaction was: ‘Uh-oh.’
“I’d never met Balotelli but I’d heard all the stories about the indoor fireworks and Jose Mourinho describing him as an ‘unmanageable’ player.
“I could see that, in the right mood, he was a quality footballer but the rest of his career seemed like a spectacular waste of talent. That was my opinion of Balotelli.
“We got on fine. I still tried to help him and I kept looking for chances to praise him but I could see why Mourinho had been right when he said Balotelli is unmanageable.
“He is very talented with the potential to be world class, but he’ll never get there because of his mentality and the people around him. Balotelli’s always late, he always wants attention.
“He says the wrong things on social media. For me, he doesn’t work hard enough on a daily basis. You’re always fighting a losing battle with Balotelli. He does too many things wrong.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Balotelli can turn things around and make his loan spell at San Siro a success, with several officials within the club insisting that they have seen a change in him.
However, whether or not it will last remains to be seen as Sinisa Mihajlovic will have to continue to keep an eye on and hope that his attitude doesn’t change.