clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Balotelli unveiled

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Following his signing at the back end of last week, Mario Balotelli was unveiled to the press earlier today.

I've posted my thoughts here after the signing was announced, but it is worth adding some quotes and thoughts from the press conference, which featured heavily on Balotelli's reputation.

Firstly, Roberto Mancini:

"All of us are said to be bad boys when we are young. But I have worked with Mario before and he is a normal person.

"He is young player, only 20 years old, who can do a lot in the Premier League. He has all the qualities needed to become a fantastic player."

Balotelli himself:

"I am not a bad boy, I am just a normal guy, not particularly bad or good." It was very important that Roberto Mancini is the manager here. It was one of the most important factors in my move - if he wasn't here, I probably wouldn't have come.

"He gave me my start in the senior team at Inter and he showed faith in me. I was sorry to leave my family and friends in Italy, but I'm very happy to be here at City from a professional point of view.

And also some words from Carlo Ancelotti:

"Mario is a great player who comes into a team that was already strong last year and which has improved in the transfer window. Balotelli is a player suited to this league. He is very strong physically and technically. He will slot into his new team in a hurry." 

Clearly Balotelli is heavily tied to Mancini, much in the same way that Craig Bellamy was to Mark Hughes. In addressing the issue of his reputation, Mancini is clearly unperturbed by it and the past few days have seen enough former teammates and people within the game go to bat for him.

There may be issues should Mancini not enjoy longevity at the club, but that - for now - is in the realms of hypothesis. There is no reason to suggest Mancini is anything but set for a lengthy stay.

His talent is not in question, and he shouldn't be overwhelmed by the Premier League whatsoever. Balotelli should be afforded a degree of patience however - it is a big move for what is a young man and there will be a period of adjustment, but I stand by my original assertion that he is the one signing this summer that excites me most.

He takes the number 45 shirt previously occupied by Greg Cunningham, who moves to the vacant number 22 shirt and has been added to the Europa League squad for the ties against Timisoara.