Manchester City fans will have today been hurt by the news that big summer signing Mario Balotelli is weeks rather than days away from a return to action. The £24 million summer singing from Inter Milan has only made a brief substitute appearance since his arrival at Eastlands, and City fans will now have to wait even longer to see their new striker.
Balotelli expects to return to action within six to eight weeks, and admits that he has been disappointed not to have made an instant impact in England. But in a strange way I feel this injury may strengthen his chances of success in the Premier League.
English life is notoriously hard to adapt to, and with Balotelli’s reputation as an eccentric character, many thought the 20-year-old would struggle to cope with a move to England. But now Balotelli has the chance to adjust to English culture away from the playing field. Couple this with the hunger he will develop from a spell on the sidelines and I am of the opinion that a spell away from football will only strengthen his chances of making a success of his big move.
Having said all that though, how Roberto Mancini would love to be able to call on the young forward right now. Although City gained a vital win over reigning Premier League Champions Chelsea at the weekend, they look desperately lacking in a clinical striker.
Perhaps this is a little harsh on Carlos Tevez, but to me City’s record of just seven goals in six games is not good enough if they are going to really challenge for honours this season. City have already dropped points at home to Blackburn and away to Sunderland this season, and it really does pose the question, would they have got wins with Balotelli playing?
Thankfully for Mancini he will be able to call on Balotelli in the not so distant future, with the Italian fit, we will finally be able to examine City’s title credentials.