Mario Balotelli Shows Roberto Mancini What He Is Missing

Aaron Gales@@AaronSportLive Correspondent IIFebruary 11, 2013

Mario Balotelli is silencing his critics at AC Milan
Mario Balotelli is silencing his critics at AC MilanValerio Pennicino/Getty Images

When it was announced that Mario Balotelli was to leave Manchester City and return to AC Milan in the January transfer window, the general consensus was that City were doing the right thing.

After all, Balotelli was a player who had proved himself to be be completely unreliable during his time at the club with incident after incident, both on and off the pitch, blighting his time in England. 

And it wasn't just at Manchester City that he had proved difficult. Inter Milan couldn't get rid of him quick enough in 2010.

Which begged the question, would Mario Balotelli ever fulfill his potential?

He is undoubtedly talented. When he puts his mind to it and focuses he is one of the best young players in world football, capable of destroying an opponent in the blink of an eye. His performance against Germany in the semifinals of Euro 2012 was one of the best all round performances I have seen by any centre-forward.

He has also played a substantial role in the success enjoyed by Manchester City under the stewardship of Roberto Mancini. He was man of the match when City won the FA Cup in 2011 and scored 17 goals and provided the assist for Sergio Aguero's title winning goal as Manchester City snatched the title from under the nose of Sir Alex Ferguson.

I thought that his performances in Euro 2012 would prove to be a turning point in his career. Unfortunately it wasn't to be. He couldn't find a way into the City starting eleven this season and contributed only three goals before his transfer in January. 

Balotelli has been like a new man since he moved back to Italy.

In just two games he has already matched the goals tally he managed for Manchester City in the first half of the season. He also continues to prove himself as arguably the best penalty taker in the world game at the moment. 

I just wonder, when Manchester City were being comprehensively outplayed by Southampton, whether Mancini was secretly wishing that he still had the services of Balotelli at his disposal. Although he can be unpredictable, he can also be explosive and is proving what he is capable of so far at AC Milan.

If he can finally settle and focus on his football, Mario Balotelli will be one of the best players in the world, capable of achieving anything he wants. The big question is will he be able to do so?