With Arsenal’s interest in Mario Balotelli looking genuine – should fans be euphoric or cautious?
A bit of both would be the sensible answer to that question.
Although the Italian has been painted as a bit of a bad apple by the press, he has definitely shown potential over the last few years. We saw the odd glimpse of quality at Manchester City, and witnessed his incredible goal scoring record when he first joined AC Milan – but we’ve also seen him blow up toilets and pick fights with managers.
There’s a very good chance that signing Balotelli would be a disaster. There’s also a chance it would be a masterstroke. In this article I’m going to focus on the latter. Here are the three reasons why the 23-year-old could be a perfect signing for us:
1 – Misunderstood Genius
Most managers can’t be bothered to work on players. The likes of Mourinho and Mancini know they’ll never be at a club long enough to watch a player develop, so only certain mindsets find a place in their starting eleven. Luckily for us, Arsene Wenger is different.
Our beloved Frenchman isn’t at the club to pick up a wage slip – he wants to build something special. He’s here for the long run, and he takes the time to work on players.
We’ve all been told Mario is just another disruptive player – a bad egg that is determined to ruin his own career. But what if there’s more to it?
During his years as a player, Balotelli has been subject to intense racism, idiotic managers, and ridiculous media scrutiny.
Not only that, but he was involved in a tense family feud when he was younger; abandoning or being abandoned by – depending on who you ask – his natural Ghanaian parents and living with his Italian foster parents since the age of two. Living your life while two sets of parents battle for you can’t be easy, and Mario’s had to put up with it his whole life.
The greatest minds often belong to those who have led tough lives, but it takes someone to unlock them, and I think Wenger’s the man with the key. Mario could flourish under Wenger’s guidance, and could transform into one of the most committed and respectable players in football. We’ve seen him do it before, and he can do it again. Belief and patience are the tools our manager uses to unleash player’s full potential – and I think that might be all Balotelli needs.
Many players join Arsenal with a bad attitude. Very few leave it with one.