There is no doubt Mario Balotelli has a tremendous amount of talent, but is he consistent enough to lead a line of a team that will be aiming to battle for the Premier League title?
Balotelli certainly splits opinion between football fans and even managers. The lack of work rate and effort he conjures up in the time he is on the pitch puts some people right off him and I'm sure his attitude doesn't help his cause.
Mario himself would probably admit that he hasn't got off to the greatest start on his return to English football, having not scored in the league as of yet. In fact his one and only goal for Liverpool came against Ludogerets in the Champions League group stages, which surely cannot be enough to convince the Kop faithful that he is the man for the job. Saying this, did we really expect anything more from Balotelli?
As I stated before, the man has terrific skill and technique on his day but them three words are key; "on his day" when exactly is Mario Balotelli's day? You watch him every game and half of you is expecting him to pull off something brilliant and the other half is expecting him to kick the ball out of play. Confidence may have a huge part to play in this, even though in press conferences and interviews he comes across as a confident and almost arrogant personality, you'd have to say his body language on the pitch portrays a different sort of man.
I have to admit however, his work rate has improved from his time at Manchester City and even recently at AC Milan in this short time he has been at Liverpool, maybe that has something to do with Brendan Rodgers and the staff at Anfield.
Rodgers obviously has faith in Mario, the price tag of £16 million and the regular first team starts he gives to him shows that, but you'd have to think that when Daniel Sturridge returns from injury he will take Balotelli's place in the starting eleven as his performances as of yet haven't been good enough to stay in the team, especially if good competition was knocking at the manager's door.
You never know, Balotelli may prove me wrong and become a consistent, all round striker that strikes fear into every defensive player he faces. But at the moment, he seems to be lacking that determination and hunger that is required at this level of the game. But no one can argue that he is one of the most explosive and exciting characters in the world of football.