Why West Ham should take a punt on Mario Balotelli in January
Italian striker Mario Balotelli can leave Brescia on a free transfer in January as his game is not suited to a relegation scrap, the Serie A club’s president Massimo Cellino has said on Italian television programme Le Iene (h/t Sky Sports).
Mario Balotelli, 29, only joined his hometown club Brescia during the past summer window on a free transfer after leaving Marseille. He has netted two goals in eight Serie A games, with Brescia rock bottom in the Serie A table.
Winless in nine Serie A games, manager Fabio Grosso was sacked on Monday. With Brescia struggling and club president Massimo Cellino claiming that Balotelli is free to leave in January, West Ham must look to sign the Italian.
Back in July, the Daily Mirror had claimed that West Ham were offered the chance to sign Balotelli on a free transfer. But the Hammers didn’t make a move to sign him and instead, Brescia snapped him up.
West Ham were in dire need of attacking reinforcements this past summer after Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll all left the club. They broke their club transfer record by signing Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as the promising Albian Ajeti from FC Basel.
After a bright start to life at the London Stadium, Haller has faded and is not firing on all cylinders. Ajeti is a young striker and will take more time to adapt to the pace and physicality of English football. With Haller and Ajeti struggling for goals, Manuel Pellegrini should sign a new striker in January.
In the regard, West Ham should go for Balotelli. The Italian is a mercurial talent and is unstoppable but the problem is, however, that he is extremely inconsistent.
He is an experienced player, winning three Serie A titles, the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. That kind of personality and winning mentality would be a major asset for West Ham.
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Balotelli has struggled with Brescia in the Serie A but he could perhaps work well in a new environment. Given the lack of support and competition for Haller, the Hammers must consider taking a gamble on the Italian striker.
The talented striker still has plenty to prove and a return to the Premier League would be the ideal move for both parties.