Liverpool are on the verge of signing Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for a reported transfer fee of £16 million, but according to Graeme Souness, they should not have made a move for the striker.
Explaining his views on the transfer, the 61-year-old Reds legend wrote in The Sunday Times: ‘It's an enormous gamble by Rodgers. And it’s a gamble I don't think he needs to take because he has a very strong group of players.
‘The harmony looks good but he may find, like every previous manager of Balotelli, that he will spend more time talking about him, spending time with him and defending him than he will the rest of the group put together’.
Souness’s scepticism of the Balotelli move is not hard to understand. After all, the Italy international has a reputation of being hot-headed.
The 24-year-old joined Manchester City from Inter Milan in the summer of 2010 with a ‘bad-boy’ reputation, having not gone along well with Jose Mourinho at the Nerazzurri.
Although the striker proved to be an important player on the pitch for City in their FA Cup and Premier League triumphs in 2011 and 2012 respectively, his run-ins with then club manager Roberto Mancini and off-pitch antics saw him sold to AC Milan in January 2013.
Balotelli grew up supporting Milan as a kid, but even the Rossoneri are seemingly ready to see the back of him. It appears that every club he has played for has wanted him to leave after a certain period.
Could it be the same with Liverpool? Could manager Brendan Rodgers realise after a season or two that Balotelli is not worth the hassle?
Let’s wait and watch.