Why Mario Balotelli is not what West Ham or Newcastle need this summer

West Ham United and Newcastle United should not make a move for former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, now at Liverpool.

According to a report in The Daily Star earlier this month, Newcastle United are interested in signing Mario Balotelli from Liverpool.

The Italy international striker endured a disappointing 2014-15 season at the Reds, scoring just one goal and creating only seven chances in 16 Premier League appearances.

Balotelli’s future at Liverpool looks bleak, and Premier League rivals Newcastle are reportedly interested in signing him this summer.

Interestingly, West Ham United are also in the frame to land the former Manchester City man.

Sky Bet rated the Hammers’ chances of signing the 24-year-old as 3/1 earlier this month, and now the odds are 6/1.

In fact, according to Sky Bet, only Fiorentina and AC Milan have a better chance of signing the former Inter Milan man than the Hammers.

However, neither West Ham nor Newcastle should even contemplate recruiting a largely average striker.

Although Balotelli showed immense promise when he first burst onto the scene with Inter, his progress over the past few years has been stunted.

The Italian’s spell at City was good but not great, and there was a reason why Milan let him leave last summer after just 18 months.

Balotelli was hugely disappointing at Liverpool, and it would be a massive gamble for the Hammers or Newcastle to sign him.

True, the Italy international has Premier League experience and has ‘potential’, but he simply cannot be relied upon to play well week in and week out.

Both West Ham and Newcastle are entering a new era, and they need strikers who are of proven quality and who can score goals regularly.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch