Mario Balotelli was always likely to be a roaring success or an unmitigated disaster when Liverpool took a punt on the world’s most unpredictable centre-forward following the departure of Luis Suarez in 2014.
And, with just four goals in 28 games in the famous red kit, it is fair to say Balotelli was more El Hadji Diouf than Fernando Torres.
But that did not stop Everton from considering one of the most eye-catching signings in modern Premier League history. According to Calciomercato, the Toffees were willing to bring Balotelli back to Merseyside year ago.
At the time, the madcap Italian was midway though his career-best season in France and he ended the campaign with 26 goals in 38 games for Nice. Ignoring his rather combustible character, and his high-profile failure at Liverpool, Everton’s interest made sense in the post-Lukaku era.
One year on, should reports from L’Equipe that Nice could be set to terminate his contract with immediate effect give Everton a decision to make?
Richarlison might have thrived since arriving at Goodison Park but he is still more of a floating forward than a natural central striker, and there is certainly room in Marco Silva’s side for a man like Balotelli.
The Italian has failed to score a goal in a season to forget so far, but maybe a change of scenery is all he needs. Silva has got the best out of Richarlison, Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson and co at Everton, so maybe Balotelli on a free is a risk worth taking.