Mario Balotelli has not exactly impressed since his £16 million move from AC Milan to Liverpool, yet the forward could well be key to the Reds bringing in a world class star at a cut price – and beating bitter rivals Manchester United to boot.
The man in question is AC forward Stephan El Shaarawy, who is looking to leave the Serie A side and has a very negotiable price – and according to Metro, has attracted the attention of not only Liverpool but Manchester United to boot.
With both clubs set to go head to head for the Italian, Balotelli could well be the deciding factor in who El Shaarawy decides to join, being close to the player on and off the field.
The compatriots have shown time and time again that they play well together, and there is no doubt that not only would El Shaarawy bring out the best in Balotelli being that companion up top he craves, he would also offer a huge release in the pressure on Raheem Sterling given his favoured position is occupying the wings.
The Liverpool starlet has seen his importance to the Reds increase this season and has not coped as well with the expectation as many would have hoped, struggling to impose himself on games at times and looking fatigued.
Manchester United are also keen on making a move for the 22 year old, who is set to be available for only £11.5 million and given his tender age and skill, that seems like a pretty good bargain.
Of course, quite if Balotelli will be at Liverpool long enough to actually make an impact on any potential transfer remains to be seen, especially given Brendan Rodgers’ comments about the forward and his inability to fit in at Anfield.
Liverpool fans. Would buying Shaarawy be the best way to bring out the good in Balotelli? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.