Mario Balotelli is a star for AC Milan, but Liverpool were right to get rid

Balotelli Milan back

Mario Balotelli might be starring for AC Milan, but Liverpool were still right to offload the Italian despite their own struggles in front of goal.

A bitterly disappointing debut campaign at Anfield yielded just one Premier League goal for Balotelli last term, as the ex-Manchester City man became more and more disinterested as the season wore on.

The forward represented something of a calculated gamble when he signed in the summer of 2014, and at £16m - as reported by the BBC - the risk seemed worth the reward for a player who had has had people lining up to proclaim a greatness beneath the flamboyant apathy that Balotelli has made his trademark.

The list of people who repeated the same mantra since Balotelli burst on the scene is too numerous to mention - the general consensus is that the forward can become one of the planet's truly great players if he can harness his ability on a consistent basis and rid of himself of the mischief and controversy that has seemingly dogged him from day one

His move to AC Milan has once again got people questioning whether Balotelli has finally turned the corner.

The penny has dropped, they claim - Balotelli is finally beginning to realise that hard work and professionalism underpin a world-class skill set and allow it to flourish.

The Italy international curled in a beautiful free kick in Tuesday night's 3-2 win over Udinese to remind all on Merseyside of his capabilities, and some connected with the five-time European champions wondered if the decision to loan him out was the right one as they continue to struggle for fluency under Brendan Rodgers this term.

Milan coach Sinisa Mihaljovic claimed to Sky Sport Italia after the win against Udinese: "His talent was never in doubt, it was an issue of the mind.

"We talked and I had to look him in the eye to know if what he said was real. So far his behaviour has been perfect and on the field he made the difference tonight. He needs to be consistent, training well, behaving well and playing well. I'll make sure he sticks to the right path."

Such sentiments are often trotted out when Balotelli hits something of a purple patch, and the football world begins to hope that finally he has turned the corner.

Liverpool fans need not hold their breath, however.

Whilst Balotelli has never been malicious in his behaivour and is believed to have always been widely liked by his teammates, the ex-Inter Milan star simply lacks the aptitude to apply the basics necessary to make it to where we are routinely told his talent should take him.

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard perhaps sums Balotelli up best in his new book My Story - serialised in the Daily Mail - where he talks up a likeable character who will never reach the pinnacle of the sport.

The LA Galaxy midfielder writes: "He is very talented with the potential to be world class, but he'll never get there because of his mentality and the people around him. Balotelli's always late, he always wants attention, he says the wrong things on social media.

"For me, he doesn't work hard enough on a daily basis. You're always fighting a losing battle with Balotelli. He does too many things wrong."

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch