Both Crystal Palace and West Ham are in need of a new striker, why not sign Mario Balotelli?
Liverpool have made it clear they have no use for striker Mario Balotelli next season. That doesn’t mean that his Premier League career should end though. Both Crystal Palace and West Ham should consider signing the enigmatic forward this summer.
The BBC are reporting that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has directly told the Italian striker that he needs to find a new club this coming year. It just so happens that two Premier League rivals are in dire need of acquiring a centre-forward and have cash to burn.
First, let’s take a look at the possibility of Balotelli filling the striker void for Crystal Palace. Alan Pardew’s team, ironically, is locked into tense transfer negotiations with Liverpool regarding a striker already. Perhaps the Eagles could pivot from chasing Christian Benteke to inquiring about Balotelli.
Clearly Balotelli is a huge gamble. He will either be a great success or a complete disaster. There’s a reason that Jurgen Klopp (and many other managers) have given up on the talented hit man. Palace are the right level of club to need to swing big in the transfer market. It’s not as if Benteke is a safe choice either.
Balotelli’s demeanor also might strangely click with Pardew. Both men operate with a giant chip on their shoulders at all times. They’d either get along famously or fight to the death. In all honesty, he’s no less trouble than Emmanuel Adebayor who the Eagles gladly signed last summer.
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For West Ham, bringing Balotelli in would be an even bigger risk. While I’m not completely sure I’d suggest they make the daring transaction, it’s at least something for the Hammers to consider.
Slaven Bilic has repeatedly shown an ability to reach players who were seen as difficult personalities elsewhere. Dimitri Payet certainly didn’t have the best reputation when he arrived at West Ham. Now he’s regarded as one of the best players in all of football.
There’s at least a chance that Bilic could work the same sort of managerial magic with Balotelli. If he played with his head on straight, he could form a terrifying attack with Payet and Manuel Lanzini. No Premier League defender would sleep well the night before taking on West Ham.
It’s not as if Bilic and company aren’t in the market for a big-name centre forward either. They’ve made a serious bid for several targets this summer, and currently are rumored to be in talks with Carlos Bacca. Balotelli could come at a fraction of the price.
It’s doubtful that either Crystal Palace or West Ham will make a daring move for Mario Balotelli this summer, but that’s really a shame. Imagine how much more fun the Premier League would be next season with the rebel striker in the mix.