Mino Raiola promising the best of Balotelli to Manchester City - and thoughts on how that could materialise 0

The Premier League Owl

The Premier League Owl

Mina Raiola has been quiet lately, so it’s time we heard from everyone’s favourite half-agent/half-toad - on the subject of Mario Balotelli:

“Balotelli? He will remain at Manchester City with the goal of becoming a key player.

He has to improve something, but he needs to feel confidence.

He asked to come back to Italy two years ago, but not anymore and not now.”

(Sky Sports)

I get accused of trolling Balotelli quite a lot, and while that’s not totally unfair, the negativity only derives from the frustration of knowing how good he could be if his attitude changed. Yes, he’s had a difficult upbringing, and yes, he’s faced obstacles that an awful lot of players never encounter in their careers, but at some point he has to take a bit more responsibility for the direction in which his career is headed.

There was an interesting article in World Soccer Magazine last month (not available online, but here’s a general link) which discussed Balotelli’s career to date and the perceptions of him in his native Italy - it’s well worth a read if you can find it. Anyway, one of the points raised was over the responsibility his management team have to him, in terms of affecting his attitude towards the game - which brings us neatly back to Raiola.

If Raiola does actually want Manchester City fans to see the best of his player, and doesn’t just intend to whore him around Europe like he does with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then maybe it’s time he put more of a structure in place within his client’s life. Balotelli’s world doesn’t seem particularly conducive to his own development, and surely somebody has to recognise that eventually and be more strong-willed with him?

This is a combustible character, and clearly diluting the extremities in his personality is going to be a challenge, but even so. Balotelli behaves like someone who doesn’t understand that natural ability can only take him so far, and that has to be challenged by someone.

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