Mario Balotelli really is one of football’s greatest mysteries.
Upon arriving at Manchester City from Inter Milan in 2010 as a fresh-faced but temperamental 20-year-old, the Italian was tipped for greatness.
However, he’s fallen ever so short of what football fans expected of him.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Article continues below
Since departing the Etihad three years ago, Balotelli has endured two difficult spells at AC Milan and parent club Liverpool.
He’s now set for a return to Anfield following a season-long loan where he scored just one Serie A goal in 20 appearances.
Article continues below
And yet, the fiery 25-year-old could have a future at Liverpool under the eccentric Jurgen Klopp.
According to native source Gazzetta dello Sport, Klopp personally called Balotelli and told him to turn up for pre-season training in July.
If the German manager was desperate to offload the Italy international, surely that phone call wouldn’t have taken place?
It’s understood Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, will still push for a move away, but for now, Balotelli might just get the chance to redeem himself in Liverpool colours.
Regardless of his undoubted potential, though, the striker represents a huge risk.
Ill-discipline continues to plague Balotelli’s game and when combined with poor form, he’s one of European football’s most unmanageable players.
Perhaps it would be best for the Reds to cut their losses and try to recoup some of the £16 million they spent to sign him in 2014.
Elsewhere, former Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger announced his retirement from professional football at the tender age of 31 on Thursday.
Two injury-plagued years at boyhood club Brondby appears to have brought on the sudden announcement, with ex-teammates, fellow professionals and fans all paying tribute to the Dane.
Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was one of the first to send his wishes, tweeting: “Shame to hear @DanielAgger has retired. One of the toughest defenders I have played against. Congratulations on a great career!”
Club legend Steven Gerrard also had his say, instead taking to Instagram.
Alongside a photo of himself and Agger during their Liverpool days, he said: “What a player this man was. Calm, composed and quality on the ball… All the best with your future mate it was a pleasure to play in the same team as you @danielagger22 #retired #ynwa”.
Agger’s former centre-back partner, Martin Skrtel, could also be on his way out this summer. According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool have received a £7 million bid from Besiktas for the Slovakian, who has fallen down the pecking order over the past six months.