Mario Balotelli laid into an Italian TV pundit after he was subbed during AC Milan’s defeat to Roma last weekend with comments which should leave Arsene Wenger with a massive grin on his face.
Balotelli has been suggested as an attacking target for the Gunners this summer in the written and online press, with his ego and temperament reported stumbling blocks to any deal.
Wenger is not a manager who likes to have problematic players in his first team, who can cause disruption in the dressing room and be chaotic influences at a time where he’s trying to get Arsenal back to the very top of Premier League and European football.
However, Balotelli’s rant showed a more mature side as he defended himself against accusations that he thought he was better than he is from Giancarlo Marocchi.
“I never said I’m a top player. I am a perfectly normal player. It will take time to become world class, but the reasons why I am not a top player are not the same reasons you think,” said the Italian.
“You always talk about me. When Milan win Mario’s great, when Milan lose it’s all Mario’s fault. I don’t need your criticism, I make my own criticism.”
What the comments and defence of his own game shows is that the Italian cares about his career, his game and the direction he’s heading in.
Wenger has made a habit throughout his years at Arsenal of taking extremely talented players and turning them into the world class performers that their potential has suggested they could always become.
After a disappointing result, it could have been easy for Balotelli to take the criticism of a TV panel, not show much care or respect and laugh it off rather than confront it.
Arsenal need a centre forward this summer to come in and compete with and alongside Olivier Giroud and Balotelli’s reported asking price of £25 million is well within what the Gunners can afford.
If Wenger can be convinced that there’s going to be consistency with this mature and caring side to a young man whose had a career plagued with controversy then he may just take a gamble and pull off a deal that few would expect.