Glen Johnson may be hoping that Mario Balotelli has forgotten what he said when he left England for the first time.
The pair are set to become teammates at Liverpool, but Johnson wasn’t too kind about Liverpool’s expected new arrival when he departed the Premier League in 2013.
The Italian striker, then playing for Manchester City, completed a move to AC Milan a year and a half ago and Johnson was quick to say that he doubted the Citizens would miss Balotelli when he left for Serie A.
“No, I don’t think City will miss Balotelli,” said Johnson. “They have got some fantastic players and they’ve got a lot of players who will score a lot more goals than Mario did. I’m sure they won’t miss him too much.
“I’m not being disrespectful to the guy, everyone in the country knows what he’s like. On his day, he can be a great player, but City have got other great players who do it a lot more often and score more goals than him.
“Mario winds himself up, you don’t need to do too much as an opposition defender.
“We all have our faults, but Mario let his side down with silly red cards and stuff like that. He’s a great player, but we didn’t see that enough.”
Johnson wasn’t finished there, either, and, although he admitted that Balotelli was unquestionably a talented football player, he said he, personally, he had no regrets about him leaving the Premier League.
“I’m not going to miss him,” the pacey right-back said.
“He was a fantastic player on his day, but he was probably more famous for the things he did off the pitch than what he did on it. But he is a fantastic talent, I’m sure he’ll play well for AC Milan.”
The England international will be hoping that Balotelli either didn’t read the comments or didn’t take them to heart, otherwise their relationship may need some working on already.
Johnson was at least correct in his analysis that he would do well at Milan. The striker was one of the Italian giant’s stars during his year and a half at the club – scoring 26 times in 43 appearances for the Rossoneri.
It is this form that attracted Liverpool to make a bid for the powerful forward and Balotelli is expected to complete a €20 million move to Anfield in the coming days.
When he does he will be one of Brendan Rodgers’ main attacking threats, as the side look to show that they can cope without Luis Suarez.
Liverpool take on Manchester City on Monday, meaning that Balotelli’s first game for his new side could be in familiar surroundings at the Etihad Stadium.