Liverpool: Why Balotelli's Is A Steal At £16million
I defy anyone who says that a little part of them doesn’t love the idea of having Mario Balotelli back in the Premier League. The bonkers striker looks set to replace Luis Suarez (one bookish introvert for another) in the Red’s front line, and while Liverpool fans may question the purchase of a player notorious for spreading disharmony among a team, at just £16m, it looks like a masterstroke from Brendan Rodgers.
There have been some heavyweight names linked with the Merseyside club prior to Balo’s reported move, including Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani. If Rodgers had managed to lure either of them to Anfield the fee would have been eye-watering, and, as a result, the expectation enormous. While we can only make guesses, a player of that stature would have surely set Liverpool back upwards of £40m. To put it into context, Brendan Rodgers this summer alone has spent £25m on Adam Lallana, £20m on Lazar Markovic and another £20m on Dejan Lovren. Joe Allen cost Liverpool £15m, only £1m less than the £16m to secure an explosive striker, a bargain in today’s hyper-inflated transfer market.
Not only is this a financial coup for Ian Ayre and co., the fee provides Rodgers with something of a ‘get out of jail free’ card. If Falcao struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and to life in Liverpool, last year’s runners up would be looking at a poor footballing return on the hefty sum paid for him and the finger would be firmly pointed towards Rodgers. The modest price for the Italian’s services means that if he gets in a strop and doesn’t score any goals, or buys a super-yacht to dock at the city’s harbour and turns up to a club dinner with a prostitute, Rodgers can cut his losses and offload the 24-year-old to someone like Monaco or Zenit, without losing a huge amount of money and avoiding any anti-climatic failure to meet expectations.
We’ve all seen what a wally he can be, but there’s something uniquely exciting about watching him spring to life on a football field. While his career progression may have suffered due to his temperament, the talent remains there – the ability to do things with the football that few others can, a genuine flair player. Most exciting for Liverpool though is that in Balotelli, the Reds have a player not only with experience of playing in the Premier League, but of experience winning the coveted title that slipped from the grasp of the Reds last season (sorry Steven).
It can’t be a negative thing to have players who have been there and done it and got the ‘title winners 2011/2012’ t-shirt. And if it does go t**s up, he was only £16m.