4 Sept 2015

I'm Back: 'Extraordinary' £16m Liverpool outcast subtly slams LFC fans/pundits after 3 goals/assists on Milan debut

Earlier this week, AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani claimed that on-loan Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is a 'radically changed' man, and hailed his positive attitude since returning to the club. Well, it appears that the extra training session at Milan appear to be paying off as Balotelli has scored on his (second) debut for Milan tonight.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani praised Balotelli's 'extraordinary attitude', and further enthused:

"He [Balotelli] is the first to arrive [a training] and the last to leave. He's probably realised that this is his last chance and I'm sure he won't waste it. His technical ability has never been in question"

Well, Balotelli took only three minutes to score on his return to action for Milan.

* 3 Minutes: The Italian hammered a 20-yards shot into the back of the net (his first goal in six months).

* 23 minutes: later, Balotelli created Milan's second goal for Andrea Poli.

* 63 minutes: Balotelli won Milan a penalty

Granted, it's only a friendly, but it's still a goal and two assists, and bodes well for Balotelli's chances of making an impact in competitive games for Milan.

As a comparison: Liverpool have scored two measly goals in 360 minutes this season, but Balotelli has contributed to three goals in 90 minutes.

Obviously, I'm not directly comparing Premier League quality with a friendly game, I just find it amusing.

After the game, Balotelli sent a message to his many Liverpool detractors, who regularly claim that he is lazy on the pitch. He toldreporters:

"I have always been in good shape and put in the maximum effort like everyone. I am happy to have scored a goal and provided an assist. I wanted to win this game, because I don’t like losing.”

Balotelli in Numbers

* 52 weeks as a Liverpool player.

* £16m Transfer fee.

* £110k-a-week salary (£5.7m over 52 weeks)

* £21.7m total cost to Liverpool(£16m transfer fee + £5.7m salary)

* 28 appearances overall.

* 4 goals/assists in 38 appearances (4 goals/0 assists).

* 1503 minutes played for LFC (Average 53 mins per game).

* £5.4m cost-per-goal.

* £14400 earned for every per minute of pitch time.

Ouch! This is even worse value than Fabio Borini, who cost Liverpool £10k-per-minute of pitch time.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will be hoping and praying that Balotelli maintains his form for the rest of the season. He's in the shop window, and if the Italian performs well, Liverpool might be able to claw back a decent transfer fee.

As noted many times, though, I don't blame Balotelli for his failure at Anfield; I blame Rodgers, who repeatedly played him out of position, and utterly failed to play to the Italian's undoubted strengths.

Author: Jaimie K


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