As much as it pains him to admit, Peter Reid believes Liverpool made a very good purchase when they signed Mario Balotelli.
In one of the more surprising moves of the summer transfer window, the Reds paid £16million to lure the controversial Italian from Milan. This is, of course, Balotelli’s second spell in English football, having previously helped Manchester City end their 35-year wait for a trophy with the FA Cup in 2011 and then, the following year, the Premier League title.
However, he often made the headlines for the wrong reasons during his stint at the Etihad Stadium, for his off-field antics and his poor discipline on the pitch. For this reason he has been labelled as something of a gamble for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but former Everton ace Reid has reluctantly backed the striker to prove an astute signing for the Reds.
“Mario Balotelli is an enigma,” he said at Soccerex when asked by TMW. “As a footballer he’s very good, but now he is no longer a child, he’s 24-years-old. It pains me to say this because of my support for Everton, but I think that Liverpool have made a good buy. He will prove his value, except of course in the derby against Everton!”
Balotelli made his debut for his new club in the 4-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, before the Premier League took a break for the international week. He is expected to feature again when Aston Villa visit Anfield at the weekend, and after the trip to West Ham United, he will get his first taste of the Merseyside derby on 27 September.
Reid will forever be remembered as a legend in the blue half of the city, following a seven year spell at Goodison Park from 1982-1989. During this time the England international, who won 13 caps for his country, helped the Toffees to the most successful period in their history, winning two league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Is Balotelli destined for greatness at Anfield, or have Liverpool taken on more than they can chew? Let us know your thoughts by joining in the discussion below.