You’ve probably read the stats and you may have watched the videos, but sometimes the information available online can paint an unreliable picture of a sportsman.
"Unreliable" being an apt word, come to think of it, as the subject of this article is one Mario Balotelli, whose return to the Premier League with Liverpool was confirmed on Monday.
Twitter went in to meltdown on Thursday when reports of a £16m fee agreed between the Reds and AC Milan first surfaced. Cue the rise in videos and statistical statements on social networks, reminding us of the Italian’s supposed genius.
Since making his league debut for Milan in 2013, no player has scored more Serie A goals than Mario Balotelli (26). pic.twitter.com/Wy96CbUPHx— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 21, 2014
132 - Balotelli has a lower mins / goal ratio for A.C. Milan in Serie A (132) than Sturridge (136) or Suarez (138) in the PL. Suitor?— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 21, 2014
% Goals scored vs top-7: Balotelli - 28.57 Suarez - 19.35 Reus - 31.25 Sanchez - 21.05 Sturridge - 26.09 Remy - 21.43 Position: 2nd (1/3)— Tim Johnston (@timjohnston_89) August 20, 2014
But it can be argued that the digital generation rely too heavily on stats to form their opinion. After all, most have been starved of the opportunity to witness first-hand the actual ability of high-profile athletes, due to extortionate ticket prices in this crazy age.
Admittedly, Balotelli’s records make impressive reading. Yet when common sense is applied, there’s ample reason to believe he will not be the answer Liverpool were looking for. Scroll through for five reasons why.