When Mario Balotelli broke through at Inter Milan it did look like he would go on to lead Italy’s strike force for years.
His talent was never in question, but there have always been serious reservations and about his attitude and application. The face that he’s been training with a semi-pro side shows that his career has nosedived, so a move to Barnsley could give him a chance to get back to his best.
A report from Football Italia has quoted reports from England which suggest there have been talks between Balotelli and the Championship side about a transfer, so it sounds like this could happen.
It’s pretty hard to tell what Barnsley fans will be making of this, because it looks like a hell or glory situation.
There will always be the hope that it suddenly clicks and he revels in being the star man in the team, while his ability and goals could be pivotal in taking them to safety.
Obviously there will always be a risk of tantrums, implosion and a headline in March which reads “Barnsley can confirm we’ve parted ways with Mario Balotelli”, but it would be fascinating to see.
Balotelli has to be aware that he’s beyond his last chance at this point, so he needs to turn things round immediately or his career as a professional football will be done.
It’s also interesting to see that the story was picked up by a local BBC reporter, and he appears to confirm that there is some truth to this, but it doesn’t sound like a deal is close to being done:
Understand there is some truth to reports that #barnsleyfc enquired as to the poss of signing free agent Mario Balotelli, but lead to believe that’s as far as it went. The Reds spoke to the Italian’s agent Mino Raiola re the player. Strange but in this case true.
— Andy Giddings (@Gids1980) November 17, 2020