Why Mario Balotelli Was Worth Every Penny of His Acquisition for AC Milan

Jack Alexandros Rathborn@@jackrathbornContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 03:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan celebrates after scoring his second goal from the penalty spot during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Udinese Calcio at San Siro Stadium on February 3, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli has endured a whirlwind start to his Rossoneri career since leaving the Premier League last month.

The former Manchester City striker has scored four goals in four games thus far, providing a glimpse of potential superstardom over the coming years back in Serie A.

As well as a pair of perfectly dispatched penalties and a stunning free kick, Balotelli also scored a goal that will be most typical of the new Super Mario.

Gone are the days when Balotelli will be asked to play wide of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez or Edin Dzeko, the Rossoneri No. 45 will be the main man through the middle from now on.

It would have been tempting for Massimiliano Allegri to consider using the 22-year-old out wide while Giampaolo Pazzini continued his sensational form, but the Mister refused to delay the inevitable and installed Balotelli as the new talisman of the Diavoli.

The £19 million, according to the BBC, that Milan forked out for the Azzurri No. 9 is a fee that will fast become a bargain, and the enigmatic Italian will repay every penny of that transfer fee, thus repaying the faith shown in him by the organisation.

Balotelli scored 28 goals in 86 games for Inter Milan, followed by a marginally better ratio of 30 goals in 80 games for Manchester City, despite not featuring much more as a starter in the Premier League than he did while with the Nerazzurri.

The form for the Italian national team provides more optimism, as Balotelli blossomed into Cesare Prandelli's first choice striker, scoring four times in nine caps throughout 2012, and at the tender age of 22 years old, now is the time that Balotelli's progress accelerates. 

Milan invested a similar amount of money on a 29-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic on even more inflated wages than Balotelli.

The Swede was sold a year later to PSG due to Milan believing that the club needed to move in a new direction—investing in young talent and building a great side organically over the coming years.

Balotelli can spearhead this ideology, while also being able to instantly make the Rossoneri successful immediately. Consider Milan's form over the last 13 matches, winning nine and losing just one, collecting more points in that time than any other side in the league.

Admittedly, Stephan El Shaarawy was the catalyst for the majority of that period, but Balotelli will only become an asset and alleviate the pressure on Il Faraone.

Knowing that Milan have been in transition this season and that Juventus are a side that is in the prime of its latest cycle, the Rossoneri—providing that some more tweaks are made to the squad this summer—can challenge for the Scudetto next season.

Edinson Cavani is the only striker comparable in quality to Balotelli in the league, and Milan have recently casted an envious eye to Naples, as they have seen a world-class striker in El Matador elevate a similar squad—in terms of talent when comparing the current Milan roster—to become Scudetto challengers.

When you have a Capocannoniere candidate, the pieces needed to fit around that goalscorer become a lot easier to fill, which means Milan can challenge for honours again for years to come now that Balotelli is on board.

A decorated club like Milan will never be able to put a price on a player who can ultimately put them into contention for trophies, therefore deeming Balotelli to be worth every penny.