Mario Balotelli has been strongly linked with summer switch to Emirates Stadium, but an Arsenal transfer would not be the right move for the Italy striker.
Despite increasing speculation regarding a switch to Arsenal this summer, a return to the Premier League is not the right move for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
Whilst the 23-year-old’s more immediate concern will be helping Italy progress at the World Cup in Brazil, his club future has been a popular subject in recent months. The latest reports from Football Italia suggests that Arsenal are constructing a significant contract offer.
After what was another emotional yet relatively successful season in Italy, the Milan striker has conceded that the World Cup is vital on both an individual level and in terms of helping the Azzurri continue their progression under Cesare Prandelli.
The former Fiorentina coach seemingly gets the best out of ‘Super Mario’, making the controversial star the focal point of his attack and placing a significant amount of responsibility on his shoulders to lead the country forward.
A similar strategy was adopted by Massimiliano Allegri when Balotelli arrived in January 2013, but with changes at coaching level as well as the unfortunate demise of one of the giants of Italian football, uncertainty has inevitably cast doubt over the Rossoneri star’s future.
Despite Milan being the club that Balotelli supported as a child, his loyalty will undoubtedly be tested this summer, particularly if he goes on to shine in Brazil which in turn would raise his price-tag further and force his current employers to consider their options.
Milan are without Champions League football next season and are beginning a rebuilding process under new coach Pippo Inzaghi, which ideally would have Balotelli at the forefront alongside the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy and Riccardo Montolivo.
Nevertheless, being realistic, given the figures reportedly on the table and the increased opportunity of immediate success as opposed to helping a club start a new cycle of success, it would be no surprise if Balotelli considered his options.
However, the former Manchester City striker should be wary of his previous experience in England, and his return to Italy on the whole can be considered a success given that the general feeling towards him has changed even though his detractors will jump at any opportunity to criticise him.
While Balotelli also recently got engaged, Milan legend Paolo Maldini spoke about the Italian international this week and insisted that this is now the right time for the striker to mature and give more than he has done previously.
At 23, it is important to remember for both supporters and the player himself that he is still learning and that his best years are still ahead of him.
Perhaps the idea that he is so important to Milan and that he is arguably indispensable works against him, but ultimately he is at the centre of a project at San Siro and with Inzaghi developing his talent in an environment he can consider home, there is no better place for Balotelli to continue to evolve his game, become a leader and one of the best in the world.