Mario Balotelli’s Liverpool career is over … Finally.
The Italian striker has completed a deadline day move to the south of France with OGC Nice taking the striker on a free transfer after he completed a medical earlier today.
The move signals the end of Mario Balotelli’s shambolic time as a Liverpool player after the player scored just 3 goals in 21 games for the Reds after his £16 million move from Milan back in 2014.
The Italian spent just one disastrous season on Merseyside, being loaned back to Milan for the entirety of the 2015/16 season, where he failed to impress yet again, netting only one goal in 20 appearances.
Twitter: Balotelli on a free is still paying over the odds by Nice. (@Carra23)
It’s clear to see why Liverpool fans like myself are delighted that Balotelli has left, even despite the £16 million loss made on the Italian. The move to Liverpool made little sense in the first place.
But it’s also easy to see why Balotelli chose a move to Nice when you look at what the club did for another misfit last season in Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Frenchman’s career was at its lowest ebb, having been released by both Newcastle and Hull city in one season due to his attitude issues. In an interview with the Newcastle Chronicle about his time on Tyneside he said:
It was a very, very difficult time. The worst of my career. It was a hell and it was the same a few months earlier in Newcastle. There, on the first day back in August 2014, I was placed directly with the reserves. A terrible humiliation. Weeks passed and I was always with these young sixteen, seventeen years on land away from those pros. I did not understand. They gave me a nightmare.
But he found a new lease of life at Nice and arguably produced his best season to date, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances as he led the side to a 4th place finish before earning a move to French powerhouse PSG.
If Balotelli recommits at Nice like Ben Arfa did then who’s to say he can’t emulate Ben Arfa’s achievements, he has age on his side and the talent has been there throughout his career.
But so many writers have sat in my position on numerous occasions and said the same thing: ‘If only he could change his attitude’. Balotelli had the potential to be one of the world’s best and a genuinely exciting signing, but now his career promises little more than mediocrity.