Upon hearing hearing the news in the summer that Liverpool were planning on bringing Mario Balotelli in as a sort of replacement for Luis Suarez, I couldn’t help but think it had disaster written all over it.
The club were always going to be hit hard losing a player like Suarez but for all his individual quality, Brendan Rodgers’ side worked so well last year because they played as a team. Each player had their role within a well-oiled machine and they knew it adeptly.
The problem with Balotelli – and there are numerous – is that no one is quite sure where his strengths lie and putting a player like that a side with rhythm will only ever upset the balance.
Whilst Sturridge and Suarez dovetailed and interchanged beautifully, Balotelli’s static, almost lazy movement results in a constant breakdown of Liverpool’s attacks.
Brendan Rodgers’ transfer record is far from exemplary but the signing of Balotelli may be his gravest mistake yet.