Why Balotelli would welcome a move to Arsenal

No man is received as a prophet in his own land, so the homily goes.

The way events are supposedly unfolding, Mario Balotelli is set to be dismissed in Italy as someone frittering away their talent only to be hailed as a star turn in England.

For someone who cannot hold down a regular place for his team and seems unlikely to figure from the start when Inter face Juventus at the weekend, the 19-year-old still has a knack of making headlines.

Most of them he would prefer not to be plastered over the front pages.

Like “Anti-Balotelli chants will see Olimpico closed” in reference to the chorus of abuse Juventus fans have aimed at the player in recent games - with racist undertones.

Or like “Balotelli booted out” – the suggestion that the youngster was dropped from the squad for last weekend’s game against Fiorentina because he turned up late for training after a night at a Brescia nightclub.

It seems the young fellow can do no right whether he's playing or not – and now it seems that he cannot wait to escape the goldfish bowl of his homeland.

Where better to fit in and become one of the crowd than in London, and where better to launch a new career than under the guidance of a coach famous for nurturing young talent?

This is, of course, where Arsenal and Arsene Wenger come in.

It is the sort of two-and-two any football fan would put together, so it's no surprise that Juventus mouthpiece Tuttosport went with the flier in the build-up to the most emotionally-charged weekend of the season.

The Turin-based daily must be dancing with glee that their mischief-making not only had everyone taking a nibble but swallowing it hook, line and sinker, especially the bit about the 20 million euro offer price and Cesc Fabregas thrown in for good measure.

As any Londoner may or not say: “Are you having a laugh?”

Certainly Inter would love to have Fabregas in their side – but then so would Barcelona and Real Madrid, along with any club in Europe.

The genuinely worrying aspect is that all the speculation surrounding Balotelli could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy and he will walk away from Italian football as a snub to its ingratitude.

You couldn’t blame him for holding a grudge, what with even some of his own fans claiming they wouldn’t even mind if he moved to AC Milan – the team he apparently supported as a youngster. 

He'd certainly have no qualms telling Jose Mourinho he was off: the pair have a relationship more in keeping with the evil step-father and an unwanted adolescent hanging around the house from the previous marriage.

There may be few tears if the prodigy left for pastures new, but in the long run Italian football would probably end up sobbing if the best player of his generation makes the most of his talent far from these shores.


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