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Italian coach says Balotelli’s a ‘genius’; reported Arsenal target is not

Fulvio Pea, the head coach of Serie B side Monza, commented on the rise of Khouma Babacar by stating that he isn’t on the level of Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli.

The 21-year-old’s performance against Inter Milan at the weekend has sparked 'Babacar-mania' in Italy, and now the striker has been talked up to being of a similar standard to Liverpool’s out-of-form star Mario Balotelli.

Babacar, who has been scouted by both Arsenal and Everton in the past, has scored two goals and claimed one assists in his last two appearances. However, in the three games before that, he had failed to make a real impact and had no goals or assists to his name.

Speaking to Padovasport.tv, Monza head coach Pea played down the youngster’s ability in comparison to Balotelli, calling the Liverpool striker a ‘genius’ in the process.

‘’[Mario] Balotelli is a genius,’’ said Pea. ‘’[He] has extraordinary qualities like few others. [Khouma] Babacar is a great player with high potential, but he’s not even on his level.’’

The glowing statement of Balotelli is currently flying in the face of what many critics are saying about the former Manchester City man. Last week, Balotelli found himself in a media storm when his apparent ‘lazy’ performance in Liverpool’s loss to FC Basel happened on the same night as Danny Welbeck hit a first career hat-trick.

Both players – Balotelli and Welbeck – happened to demand the same transfer fee so after such a contrasting performance level on the same night, it was inevitable the comparison would come, with the Italian getting little praise.

Nevertheless, the recent comments by Pea - although they will do little to hush the critics - do show that many people in the game still rate Balotelli as a world-class standard footballer.

As for Babacar, he knows the standards expected of world-class footballers and will be aware of the expectations desired if he is to get a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Arsenal and Everton have reportedly watched the player closely in the past, which shows big clubs in the Premier League are interested in the talented youngster, but whether one of those sides will pull the trigger on a deal in the future is another question.

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