One year after arriving on Merseyside, Mario Balotelli is about to return home. The Italian international is set to be loaned by Liverpool back to AC Milan, the club from which Liverpool bought the 25-year-old for £16 million one year ago.
Balotelli expected to undergo a medical at Milan’s training ground on Tuesday.
Balotelli arrived at Liverpool on Aug. 21, 2014 with expectations he would help the void left by Luis Suárez’s departure for Barcelona. Instead, a season of struggles produced only four goals in 28 all-competition appearances, with ineffectiveness limiting the former Inter Milan and Manchester City attacker to only 16 Premier League appearances.
Combined with Daniel Sturridge’s health issues and Ricky Lambert’s poor results, Balotelli’s struggles helped account for Liverpool’s 49-goal decrease in scoring between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons (101 goals to 52). With Lambert now at West Bromwich Albion, Balotelli looks to be the next striker to leave the club.
Through three matches this season, Balotelli has yet to dress, with Liverpool’s desire to move him an open secret. But Balotelli’s reportedly high wages have left Liverpool with few suitors, leaving the Italian international in exile while a new home was found. Given he was due a six-figure loyalty bonus if he stayed with the club, Balotelli was expected to stay with the club.
Now Balotelli’s expected to move back to an old, favored home. “Super Mario” was controversially photographed in the rossoneri of his favorite club in 2010, during his time at Inter, and he found refuge in red and black after Manchester City gave up on his talents in 2013. After a successful stint with Milan (2013-2014), Balotelli earned a move to Liverpool, allowing Milan to take in some much-needed cash. But after 12 months under Brendan Rodgers, Balotelli appears set for a return to the San Siro.
During his 43-game stint at Milan, Balotelli scored 30 goals in 54 appearances. In the two years that surrounded that move — one with Manchester City, the other with Liverpool — Balotelli’s scored only seven goals in 48 matches.
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