Liverpool have completed the signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for £16 million.
Balotelli agreed a long-term contract on Monday evening with the Merseyside club but did not feature in Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League defeat against his old side Manchester City on Monday night.
Balotelli, 24, will wear the number 45 shirt at Anfield and admits that leaving England in January 2013 was a big mistake, stating: “I'm happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy, but I realised it was a mistake.”
He also had the following to say about signing for Liverpool Football Club: “I'm very happy. We've been talking about coming here and now I'm happy to be here.
"Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England and the football is very good here. "It's a great team with young players, and that's why I came here."
It’s fair to say that Balotelli has had his fair share of problems both on and off the pitch in his time in professional football and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had the following to say about the recent acquisition of Italian striker Balotelli: “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here.
"There is no doubting Mario's ability; he is a world-class talent and someone who, for such a young age, has vast experience of playing at the very highest level.
"He has scored goals in the Barclays Premier League, in Italy, in the Champions League and for his country at international level.
"I am looking forward to working with him and helping him learn more, improve and progress as a player. I'm sure the supporters will make him feel very welcome."
Balotelli is certainly no stranger to the English Premier League having played for one of Liverpool’s biggest rivals Manchester City. Balotelli played for City from 2010 to 2013. He scored 30 goals in 80 games and helped City win the Premier League in the 2011/12 season, assisting Sergio Aguero, who scored the winning goal on the last day of the season against QPR to win the Premier League for City, in what was one of the most dramatic ever finishes to a Premier League season.
He then went on to sign for Serie A side AC Milan in January 2013 and managed 30 goals in 54 appearances for the Italian side.
As well as being a prolific goalscorer domestically he also has a considerably good record for his country Italy, scoring 13 goals in 33 appearances.
Balotelli becomes Liverpool’s ninth signing of this transfer window and this signing takes Liverpool’s spending over the £100 million mark.
The signing of Balotelli should help fill the void left by Luis Suarez, who was sold earlier on in the summer to Barcelona for a fee believed to be £65 million.