According to AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani on-loan striker Mario Balotelli will return to parent club Liverpool this summer.
The Italian international is nearing the end of a season-long loan deal at the San Siro and has failed to impress the Rossoneri significantly enough to earn a permanent deal.
Talking about Balotelli, Galliani told Sky Sports: “We really like Mario, but he has to convince us to earn a permanent deal.
“Mario is feeling well. He is desperate to stay here at Milan. But like I have said before, he does not merit a permanent deal at the moment.”
Failing to fulfil his potential
Mario Balotelli is an enigma, wrapped in a mystery. He has always had immense potential to become a top player, but he has never hit the heights that he should have in his career. This season has been the perfect example of his underachievement, as the striker has scored just three goals in 17 appearances for the Rossoneri.
Balotelli had enjoyed far more success in his first spell with the Rossoneri scoring 30 goals in 54 appearances, before making a £16million move to Liverpool in the summer of 2014. The move was always a gamble by Brendan Rodgers, because of the striker’s ability to be so inconsistent.
Problem with his mental attributes
Mario Balotelli seems to have every physical attribute to be a world-class striker. He is big, strong and quick. I was once shot down for suggesting that the striker has an attitude problem, but I believe it is probably now fair to say he has after his recent failures at Liverpool and in Milan.
At 25 years-old, Balotelli is still living on the ‘promising youngster’ tag, even though he is not a youngster anymore. Everybody has been waiting for his potential to be fulfilled, but in truth it may never will because of Balotelli’s mental attitude.
Balotelli has always come across as a guy who is as mad as a box of frogs. He is the sort of guy who could cause a row in an empty room. His off-the-field antics and activities have often distracted from the fact that he does actually have to perform on the football pitch.
At times I think he forgets he is actually a footballer and just thinks he can coast on a reputation built earlier in his career. Not many managers will put up with that sort of attitude, even Jose Mourinho, who is famous for his man-management skills washed his hands off the striker during their time together at Inter.
Doubts over his attitude occur because at times during his career he has looked like an absolute world beater. He has put in unstoppable displays, but petulance and a lack of determination has meant that he has not been able to show his quality on a consistent basis.
What next for Mario Balotelli?
Balotelli’s career has gone off the boil that badly in recent seasons that some people even forgot he belongs to Liverpool. At 25 he should just be reaching the peaks of his power. The striker has been a professional for a long time and should have learnt from his mistakes.
Instead he keeps lurching from one failed spell at a club to another and does not put in the desired determination and effort to be successful. There are very few successful footballers who have been successful without a positive mental attitude.
Balotelli is unlikely to be the sort of player that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp can integrate into his team and the majority of Reds fans are already making it clear that they do not want the striker back in a red shirt anytime soon.
This summer’s European Championship should have been a showcase for Mario Balotelli’s skills, but because he has struggled for form at the San Siro, the striker could miss out on the Azzurri squad for the Euros.
Mario Balotelli’s football career is in limbo after his unsuccessful spell in Milan and who knows where he will be plying his trade next season. If he does not grow up and change his attitude, fans are likely label the Italian a failure, which is a tag that is hard to get rid of.
Can Mario Balotelli turn his career around?