Arsenal's Wenger reveals Balotelli admiration

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his admiration for Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli, tipping the Italy U21 international to shine in this season's Champions League.

The 19-year-old has netted 11 times in 35 Serie A outings since arriving from Lumezzane in 2007, but has been omitted by Nerazzurri  chief Jose Mourinho on more than one occasion for displaying both a poor attitude and questionable temperament.

Balotelli has scored five times in 12 appearances for the Italian U21 side, but saw red in this summer's U21 European Championships in Sweden for retaliating against the hosts' Pontus Wernbloom.

But Wenger has admitted that he is fond of the youngster - who was a loan target for West Ham United last month - and believes that he can go on to become one of the stars of the future.

"I consider Inter an excellent squad who can do really well in the Champions League," he told the Italian media.

"In particular I am keeping an eye out for Balotelli, a player I like very much.

"In my view he can be one of the best."