For the past several days, we all knew this was coming but despite the social media pictures of Mario Balotelli in Milan arriving for a medical, signing a new contract, and reports arising about a code of conduct, the clubs remained frustratingly tight-lipped about the Italian striker. That all changed this morning with both AC Milan and Liverpool confirming Balotelli's loan deal:
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 27, 2015
So now it's official.
Previous reports had suggested that Liverpool would be receiving a transfer fee for Balotelli, but James Pearce dispelled those rumors in The Echo adding, "[Liverpool] will still have to pay a hefty chunk of his £90,000 per week wages."
The departure, while technically temporary, will be bittersweet for all parties involved who genuinely wanted to see him succeed.
There may have been a lot of factors working against the striker last season. Super Mario only started half of his 28 appearances, and rarely worked with a strike partner that he so desperately needed. The fact that all of our strikers, spare perpetually injured Daniel Sturridge, struggled to create and score goals hinted at a greater problem of team chemistry and tactics than for which one man could reasonably be blamed.
However, 4 goals in 28 appearances will not cut it at a club like Liverpool, especially for a £16M price tag.
Hopefully a return to Italy can allow Balotelli to finally live up to his still sizable potential. Best of luck, Mario, YNWA.