Why Mario Balotelli Would Be a Bad Fit for Chelsea

Joe Krishnan@joekrishnanContributor IDecember 3, 2013

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 26:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan celebrates after scoring  during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Celtic and AC Milan at Celtic Park Stadium on November 26, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

You might be one of those who looks at the title of this piece and tuts "not again" at the prospect of Mario Balotelli returning to the Premier League. This was initially suggested by the striker's agent, as reported in October by The Daily Mail's Declan Warrington.

But in fairness to the madcap Italian, he has proved to be one of the best signings of 2013 after joining AC Milan in January this year from Manchester City.

The 23-year-old has scored 15 goals in 21 Serie A games for the Rossoneri and has established himself as a key member of the side when their fortunes on the pitch have been faltering. Time and time again, Balotelli has presented himself as the saviour to Milan.

But just when he looked to be rid of his old, mischievous ways, it appears the forward has landed himself in hot water once again with his employers.

Zvonimir Boban, an AC Milan legend, launched a scathing attack on the Italy international, claiming that if he had been in the presence of the likes of Paolo Maldini or Franco Baresi, he would have been cleaning their boots, per Goal.com.

His poor attitude is only further proof that he does not seem to understand the value of playing for Milan. People like Marcel Desailly, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi would have slapped him for showing up late.

Balotelli has recently reaffirmed his commitment to the club, which is unsurprising considering he only signed for the Italian strugglers in January.

"I have always said that I do not watch out for the distant future," he told Sky Italia, per the Mirror.

"I am thinking about doing well against Genoa [at the weekend] and not about the market in either January or May. I am happy at Milan and I am happy to be here."

But while he was viewed as a hero in the latter stages of the 2012-13 season, helping Milan gain qualification to the Champions League ahead of Fiorentina, it's been a different case this season.

He's very much appeared to have reverted to the troublesome Balotelli we all knew and grew to love during his time in England, and his work rate on the pitch has affected his form.

Seven goals in 16 games is hardly appalling, but in comparison to his form last season, when his strike rate was almost a goal a game, the former Manchester City man must improve to help his side climb up the Serie A table.

CATANIA, ITALY - DECEMBER 01:  Mario Balotelli (R) of Milan argues with Nicolas Spolli of catania during the Serie A match between Calcio Catania and AC Milan at Stadio Angelo Massimino on December 1, 2013 in Catania, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Get
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

While staying at Milan seems to be his wish at the moment, speculation about him moving away from the San Siro refuses to die down, especially in light of the news that Balotelli was the target of racial abuse from Catania defender Nicolas Spolli, per ESPN.

It's not the first time that Balotelli has suffered such abuse, having been abused by Juventus, Fiorentina and Inter Milan fans in the past, per the Guardian. And even though he is unlikely to face such an ordeal in England, the supporters would be sure to hand him a hostile reception.

Nevertheless, there are flaws behind the speculation of a transfer to Chelsea, currently managed by Jose Mourinho.

For starters, the Portuguese coach was glad to see the back of him, receiving a generous £24 million for a player seemingly out of favour in 2010 when he took over.

The pair had several run-ins while Mourinho was coach, with the most memorable incident being the controversial forward throwing down his jersey onto the ground after being replaced.

It's perhaps fair to say his attitude was not something that the 50-year-old manager was going to tolerate, and the lack of change in his behaviour left Mourinho with no choice but to sell him. 

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 03:  FC Inter Head Coach Jose Mourinho and Mario Balotelli during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 3, 2009 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Ima
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Since Balotelli is not exactly known for being prolific in front of goal during his time in England, with just 20 Premier League goals in 54 games, the move lacks logic in every sense. Bearing in mind that it would also cost Chelsea in excess of £40 million to convince Milan to sell their prized asset, this is a no-go.

Of course, there is no denying that he possesses a vast amount of quality, and there is arguably no better penalty taker in the world right now.

But that alone is not enough to convince the hierarchy or the supporters that signing Balotelli would be a good piece of business. The baggage that comes with his persona is too much to handle, even at a club like Chelsea, who are no strangers to off-field controversy.

In which case, put the rumours to bed. Balotelli is going nowhere...for now. And even if he does leave Italy for a second time, it won't be to Chelsea, that is for certain.


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