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Friday September 25 2020
Balotelli an intriguing fit for Genoa

Mario Balotelli looks as if he’ll sign for Genoa and Richard Hall writes that this could be the perfect fit for both, although any harmony is likely to be short lived.

Many will think that this is a case of the madman running the asylum; maybe they are right in some way. Mario Balotelli is on the verge of signing for Genoa, a club whose only constant is an annual ability to underwhelm, his presence will surely bring further chaos to a club that already has plenty of it. Mario has never had a great relationship with any of his employers, but could it work in the short term? Genoa are in desperate need of a goal scorer and his arrival could give them a spark this season.

Italy’s oldest club reeks of history. From James Richardson Spensley to William Garbutt, from Branco to Tomas Skuhravy, Genoa are a prestigious club. Before penning this piece, it was remiss not to ask a fan of the Grifone what constitutes success. Their answer was swift: ‘Put in performances that make us proud and represent the club in the right way’. With this answer, you would think this next argument would not work. Enter stage right Mr Balotelli.

Admittedly, making people proud is not one of Balotelli’s unique selling points. Making fans excited, however, is. Genoa have assembled a good squad this year and hopes are high, the loss of Andrea Pinamonti who went back to Inter was a blow, as he had so much potential and his departure left a huge hole upfront. Let us be clear, when we talk about high hopes for Genoa, we are not talking about Europe or winning the Coppa Italia. We are talking about establishing themselves as a mid-table club and not changing multiple coaches in a campaign.

Last season a 17th-place finish was too close to Serie B, the veteran Goran Pandev was their top scorer with nine goals and they ploughed through three coaches. President Enzo Preziosi, let’s not forget, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He wants to sell the club as he cannot keep investing in it, but he needs them to stay in Serie A to be a viable asset. What is good for the Rossoblu is consistency; this would make Genoa look like a club that was something a foreign owner would want to buy.

So why all the hope? Genoa have built a good squad despite all the hardships. Marko Pjaca is just one of the players who has arrived on loan from Juventus and scored on his debut in the 4-1 win over Crotone. So did Davide Zappacosta, who arrived from Chelsea and will work well in the 3-5-2, and Mattia Perin extended January’s loan from Juventus to provide a huge upgrade in the goalkeeping position. Milan Badelj came in from Lazio and will provide stability in midfield, whilst Mattia Destro may not be everyone’s favourite, but could be useful up front.

To reiterate, nobody is talking about Europa League finishes or silverware, but that does not mean Genoa are not worth talking about. If you give this team a front man like Balotelli, then with these players around him, it is not the wildest dream to think that he could get 10 goals and help Genoa finish in mid-table. What is the alternative? Try and push through the season relying on Goran Pandev? In fairness, he has netted already, but even the great Macedonian cannot last a full campaign.

Even if this has not convinced you, don’t we just want to see Mario Balotelli back? Picture the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, smoke from the flares billowing from the Curva (when fans are back), it’s the Derby Della Lanterna, the teams come out in the remarkable Genoa kit for this season, Sampdoria look over at the Genoese and there is Balotelli scowling back. Who does not want to watch that match?

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Have your say...
He doesn’t take care of himself, when he fails on the field and the media stop talking about him he starts acting up and creating controversy just so he can be the center of attention. He is a failure and people shouldn’t constantly try defending him and finding him excuses. This is a guy that had the talent to compete with Messi and Ronaldo only to waste his best years. Genoa shouldn’t bet on him but what is the alternative?
on the 26th September, 2020 at 11:14pm
I sincerely hope it works out for him. That he let's his football do the talking. The lower the expectations are, the more that may even help him. Cassano did well at Samp. Its keeping it going. You get the sense the press are as keen to set him up as he is at playing up to it. Despite his great talent, he's a bit of an underdog and it's great to see them achieve, even if it doesn't last! Genoa, with him, Pjaca, Zappacosta, Pandev and the rest look an explosive and talented bunch on their day!
on the 26th September, 2020 at 1:11pm
A real shame. He could have been Italy’s saviour and in turn a legend if he had possessed the will and determination of say an Inzagi
on the 26th September, 2020 at 8:41am
@GF - you call Balo ‘useless and petulant’ Perhaps you would like to show us your medals. (And your pay slip)
on the 25th September, 2020 at 9:47pm
Considering the direction genoa as a club is going getting balotelli is perfect for them. They have sold some seriously decent young players for small fees only to bring in washed up aging players. in any case they really didn't have any alternative options up front.

as for balotelli who knows who really cares anymore, he has squandered his potential. there are players out there more deserving of a chances and success than balotelli. saying that i hope he will be successful.
on the 25th September, 2020 at 8:45pm
How many chances is this guy going to get? Useless and petulant
on the 25th September, 2020 at 6:04pm
Let's be real, he'll start off okay there then fade off and start some shenanigans. I always held out hope for Balo, but he's 10 years into his career and isn't showing any signs of really turning a new leaf and becoming a competent team player. He's a world class talent, but sometimes the mental drive isn't there to nurture that talent. Simple as that.
on the 25th September, 2020 at 5:46pm

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