1) Chelsea desperately need a striker
It’s certainly no secret that the Blues need a striker to fire them to the Premier League title – Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and summer signing Samuel Eto’o are all inconsistent at best and woeful at worst and the majority of Chelsea’s goals this term are coming from midfield whilst the manager has repeatedly bemoaned the Blues’ lack of killer instinct and it’s undoubtedly down to the lack of form and confidence in their forward lines.
2) Top quality
23-year-old Mario Balotelli has never been particularly short of confidence and after aligning for AC Milan from Manchester City just 12 months ago, the Italian striker has scored a total of 18 goals and made 7 assists across 26 appearances in Serie A in 2013.
There has never been much doubt over the striker’s ability – his finishing and technical ability with the ball at his feet as well as his aerial prowess and determination to get in the box are what makes him one of the best strikers on the continent.
3) Premier League experience
Meanwhile, he has two-and-a-half years of experience in the Premier League with Manchester City – unlike other potential striker targets like Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao, Balotelli knows the league, knows the intensity and the pace and could hit the ground running without needing to adapt which would make him an ideal signing in January.
The main problem is his temperament and attitude but, as we’ve seen in the past, being a bit of a bad boy can be a positive that works to the player’s favour if they learn how to channel that aggression under the right kind of man-management – Wayne Rooney springs to mind as the prototype.
Balotelli reminds me a lot of a young Didier Drogba with his pouting brooding angry face and brute strength and hunger to win. Balotelli may be a bit of a pain in the backside but he is still only 23 years old and, if he learns to control his temper and his natural aggression, he could be the kind of striker Chelsea have been crying out for since Drobga left in 2012.
5) Nomadic Career
The other thing about Balotelli is that he has been signed by some of the biggest names in football and played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and he’s still so young. He has played for Inter Milan, Manchester City and AC Milan – it’s a career trajectory that reminds me a little bit of Zlatan Ibrahimovich who also did very well and progressed under Mourinho at Inter.
Balotelli is that kind of nomadic striker who just needs to find the perfect place to settle into his football like Zlatan has found at the Parc des Princes and Balotelli could well find at the Bridge.
image: © mcr_joe