Mario Balotelli: Liverpool striker on his way to Napoli?

Former Liverpool Man Mario Balotelli
Former Liverpool Man Mario Balotelli

According to Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli could be on his way back to Italy in the summer, with Napoli interested.

Earlier yesterday, reports surfaced that the Italian striker was unable to concentrate on his football at Anfield as he misses his daughter. Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola stated that the critics were harsh on Balotelli, and that the former Manchester City striker should be allowed some more time to settle into life at Merseyside.

According to the Italian newspaper, Mino Raiola is thought to be arranging a move back to Italy, as Balotelli has shown no signs of recovering from his current slump. While there are several other parties interested, Napoli have been tipped as the club to bring the enigmatic forward, back to Serie A.

Mario Balotelli moved to Liverpool with a hope of rejuvenating his career and there were a lot of expectations regarding him around Merseyside. However, scoring only two goals so far, the hype around Balotelli has died down prematurely. Playing as a lone striker most of the time, the Italian has found himself isolated and away from the goal more often than not.

Balotelli has always functioned well as the target man in a two striker formation. Considering Liverpool’ success with a two striker formation last season, everyone expected Balotelli to slot into a two with Sturridge and be an instant hit. However, injury to the former Chelsea striker has meant that the Italian is in charge of the goal scoring.

While at Manchester City, Balotelli formed a fruitful strike partnership with Sergio Aguero, as the pair carried City to the league title. Balotelli showed signs of replicating that against Tottenham earlier this season, when he was paired alongside Daniel Sturridge. The pair looked lively and connected well, as the Reds dismantled Tottenham 3-0 away from home.

In the absence of Daniel Sturridge, Balotelli has been promising when paired with Fabio Borini as well. It is evident that the Italian plays his best football when playing alongside another striker and the sooner Daniel Sturridge can recover from his recurring injuries this season, the sooner Balotelli can go back to playing his natural game.

Meanwhile, with no certain date set for Sturridge’s return and following heavy criticism, the Italian media believe that Balotelli is itching for a move back to Italy. Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is believed to be keen to pairing the Italian with former Real Madrid man, Gonzalo Higuain and would welcome a January move.

Brendan Rogers has been critical of Balotelli publicly and it is understood that the former Swansea manager could get rid of the Italian, should an offer of 16 million arrive.

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