Liverpool have identified top Arsenal target Mario Balotelli as a potential replacement for Luis Suarez, should the Uruguayan striker make a big-money move to Spain this summer.
The ex-Manchester City star’s future is up in the air following a tumultuous period at AC Milan, and a host of Premier League clubs are looking into the possibility of luring him back to the Premier League. The Daily Express claims that Liverpool are now amongst those eyeing a move for the Italian, and could pay as much as £30million for his services should they end up needing a new striker.
Of course with Daniel Sturridge, new signing Rickie Lambert and Suarez on the books at Anfield there would only be a need for Balotelli were the latter to be shipped in the wake of his most recent scandal. The 27-year-old striker was considered an indispensable asset prior to the World Cup, but the fallout from his bite on Giorgio Chiellini has significantly changed the situation.
Now Barcelona are said to be edging ever closer to the a swoop which could see Suarez leave Merseyside for a colossal £80million. If that happens the Brendan Rodgers would no doubt reinvest a portion of the money into finding a like for like replacement, and the Express highlights the fact that Balotelli is viewed as just that.
There’s no questioning the 23-year-old’s talent on a football pitch, although there’s a strong case to be brought against his attitude and tendency to be disruptive. Rodgers has strived to make Liverpool a harmonious setting since his arrival, and a loose-cannon like Balotelli would certainly threaten to jeopardise what the Northern Irishman has built so far.
That being said he does have experience in England’s top flight, and his goals from his time at City indicate that he’s capable of handling the physicality of the division, as well as the pressure of expecting crowds.
Is he capable of adequately replacing Suarez - and the 31 Premier League goals the forward notched last term? - perhaps not.
Any deal looking likely to make Balotelli a Red is likely to be met with fierce competition from Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger has also identified the troublesome forward as a candidate to alleviate his striking woes. With Olivier Giroud acting more as a link-up man than an out and out finisher, and youngster Yaya Sanogo yet to be properly blooded at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners need someone to consistently get them goals if they are to play to their maximum capabilities on a regular basis.
Liverpool fans, should Rodgers target Balotelli if Suarez leaves? Or is it simply too big a risk to take? Let us know in the comments section below...