Mario Balotelli: 5 Reasons He's Set for a Great Season for Manchester City
Mario Balotelli could be set for a really great season next year.
The young Italian performed at the highest level on the biggest stage of his career so far and has left fans wondering what to expect next.
Last season Balotelli came up with 17 goals in 32 performances, which is quite good considering he missed some games through suspension.
Here are five reasons why he is set for a great 2012/13 season with Manchester City.
Last year was Balotelli's best season in front of goal while playing either for Inter or Manchester City.
He scored nine goals in 2010/11 and improved on that number to get 17 while only playing five more games.
He showed similar improvement during his time with Inter as he scored seven goals, then 10, then 11 in each year at the Serie A club.
Expect Balotelli to show similar improvement on his goal tally next season and really turn heads in the process.
On the biggest stage in his career, the recently concluded Euro 2012, Mario Balotelli was in the headlines for all the right reasons. Well, there was his statement before the tournament began and that one other incident, though that wasn't created by Balotelli's own actions.
The striker came up big against Spain's great central defensive duo (twice), many familiar faces from England and a German defense that he dominated.
He showed little to none of his usual petulance or rash actions on the pitch, and that resulted in a match-winning performance against Germany and one of the goals of the tournament against Ireland.
The performance against Ireland was especially telling as Balotelli was hooked in the game against Croatia and relegated to the bench from the start against the Irish.
The fact that he came on to score a goal, and retain his starting spot as a result, shows the improved mindset of the Italian.
Should he carry that into the upcoming season, cutting down on the rash play especially, he'll be involved with City a lot more—and a greater run in the team means a longer stretch of good form
Continued Influence of Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini certainly knows with the young striker well, having been at Inter until 2008 when Balotelli was starting to become more of a fixture with Inter and then bringing him to Manchester City two years later.
Mancini certainly believes in his compatriot and despite his problems throughout the years he continued to give him a chance.
Mancini had nothing but praise for him after his performance against Germany and will certainly be looking to use the striker as much as he can next season.
Balotelli may not have gotten the chances to redeem himself were it not for Mancini, and with the Italian manager's continuing guidance over the player there may be much more to come.
All the factors in previous slides are reason for Mario Balotelli to be even more confident in his abilities. Considering the player already thinks he is one of the best in the game, that might be a problem, but we are talking about confidence on the pitch, not ego.
Balotelli improved form from his debut season to last season; his mature displays at Euro 2012 and the continued help, guidance and trust from Roberto Mancini will all give him confidence.
Balotelli was also one of the more notable performers on a side that ended up second in Euro 2012.
His increased confidence will make him a dangerous forward for every opposing team, and with his skills he could do a lot of damage for Manchester City.
No New Competition
Mario Balotelli could also benefit from a lack of new competition in the Manchester City forward line next season.
While I'm not trying to say Balotelli can't handle new competition, when a club like Manchester City buys players, usually at high fees, then those new players can expect a significant amount of playing time unless they perform horribly.
Sergio Aguero is a good example of that, especially as he banged in goals throughout the season and asserted himself as the top forward in the club.
The club has been linked to a lot of top forwards, but Roberto Mancini's relationship with Balotelli, the fact that he seemingly wants keep Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko and that Sergio Aguero is virtually untouchable means there probably won't be any new signings.
As long as Balotelli stays disciplined and continues the form he showed in Euro 2012, he will get plenty of chances to lead the line. He will still have competition of the highest quality, but no one new coming in to change the status quo makes things a bit easier.