Italian superstar striker could help lift Spurs to the next level

Mario Balotelli playing for AC Milan

French media has this evening linked Tottenham Hotspur with a swap deal involving Mario Balotelli.

Life is never dull when it involves Italian forward Mario Balotelli. Manchester couldn't contain "Super Mario", Milan is having a similar problem, and his next stop could well be London.

Contrary to reports, Arsenal or Chelsea may not be his next destination. French media have this evening linked the former Manchester City forward with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, with Argentine winger Erik Lamela involved in a swap deal with AC Milan.

It is the sort of move that could see Spurs lifted back up to serious top four contenders, but it would come with a lot of risk. Balotelli is a player that sees controversy follow him wherever he goes, and in a city like London, it would be difficult to keep the young Italian in-check, but the rewards are there to see.

At his last three clubs, he has managed to score around 20 goals. That was over three years and 59 games at Inter Milan, three years and 54 games for City, but at Milan he has done it in just 12 months and 31 games - Scoring 22 goals.

Like a fine wine, he is improving with age, and he seems to be calming down his antics. His success at Spurs would be mainly determined by who the new manager turned out to be. Roberto Mancini and Massimiliano Allegri were not the right coaches to take on Balotelli and mould him into a better player, and Tim Sherwood definitely isn't that man, but perhaps someone like Louis van Gaal, Frank de Boer or Cesare Prandelli, could take on this mammoth challenge and help Balotelli guide Tottenham to the next level.

Jose Mourinho will be sceptical to manage Balotelli again after their spell together at Inter, and there seems no chance of Arsene Wenger wanting a personality like Mario involved with his club. Spurs will always have the lure of London to entice players, Balotelli would definitely be attracted to life in England’s capital, it could just work.

There have been a few instances of racial abuse against Balotelli in the last year or so, most recently, against Napoli. He was substituted and was shown to be crying, it is thought that racial chanting led to his reaction. If he was to return to the UK he could get away from that racial mind-set. It hasn't been completely removed from the British game, but it is definitely years ahead of the Italian culture.

It could just be exactly what Balotelli is looking for. He is definitely the sort of player Spurs would be looking for.

images: © Dan Heap, © Dan Heap

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