How Liverpool's potential signing of Balotelli has echoes of Daniel Sturridge

Terry Balotelli England Italy

Daniel Sturridge arrived at Liverpool having not really settled anywhere else.

If Liverpool fans cast their minds back to December 2012, they were heavily linked with Daniel Sturridge then of Chelsea. 

Sturridge was a striker that had left Manchester City to go and fulfil his potential at Chelsea. Chelsea enjoyed great success whilst he was there by winning the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Champions League during his time at the club, but Sturridge wasn't central to that so he looked to move on.

He was a player that was regarded as a man in the last chance saloon in terms of his career. He had to be a success at Liverpool to fulfil his career on a personal level. He arrived on Merseyside with something of a reputation for being arrogant and cocky. 

36 goals and 50 appearances later - which included a 21 goals Premier League season last term - some would say the reputation he had prior to his move to Merseyside was unfair

But let's compare that to the forward that Liverpool are on the brink of signing in Mario Balotelli - a player well known to the Premier League during his time at Manchester City and some would probably see this as him in the last chance saloon, having previously played for Inter Milan and their city rivals.

Ok, the issues are different. Some questioned Sturridge's attitude, and will inevitably do the same with Balotelli, and Sturridge had nowhere the same kind of baggage the Italian seems to bring with him. 

The fondness of letting of fireworks in his own home was something that Sturridge has never been renowned for, for example.

But beneath that exterior is a very talented footballer who is technically very good, can hold the ball up well, play off the shoulder of the last defender and can finish very well.

Some will question if he is the right striker for Liverpool, but he is a winner that probably hasn't found the right club for him, or the right manager to work under.

There is a massive difference in terms of the timing of their moves. Sturridge arrived at the time when Liverpool were starting their resurgence and was part of a side that initially finished seventh before progressing remarkably the next to a second-place finish - leading to a huge rise in expectations.

Sturridge could grow with the club, so to speak, whereas Balotelli is coming in with huge expectations. He seems to like that kind of environment having been part of sides that have won the title and the Champions League.

The reality he is, some will see him as a direct replacement for Luis Suarez in more ways than one, but equally some will say if Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool can't crack him, then Mario Balotelli may not be amongst Europe's elite clubs again. 

If the deal is completed, it is going to be fascinating to see how he gets on.

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