He is a mercurial talent who divides opinion like few before him, but the statistics read for themselves, Mario Balotelli has just had the best season of his life.
The Italian bagged 15 goals for Nice this term, helping the Cote d’Azur outfit finish third in Ligue 1.
It’s the highest return of Balotelli’s career, and it’s even more impressive given he only played 23 times.
And before you mention it, only two of his 15 absences were suspensions. The remainders were either rests or injuries.
The striker is now 26-years-old, and should be entering his peak years.
But don’t get your hopes up about the Italian making a return to the Premier League this summer.
Balotelli is well-remembered for his time with Manchester City, where he seemingly drove Roberto Mancini between delight and madness on a weekly basis.
Then there was that awful spell at Liverpool. Wrong club, wrong time.
Balotelli has done this before however. When he left Man City in 2012 he reinvented himself with 30 goals in just 54 games for AC Milan, prompting that career-stalling move to Anfield.
But he seems to have found a happy place on the French Riviera, with Nice arguably the lowest-profile club of his career.
Our traders go 4/1 that he returns to the Premier League this summer, but from our point of view, that’s the wrong move.
What he needs now is another season firing in the goals in the south of France, away from the limelight. He needs to find consistency and stability.
Should he produce the goods next year, then maybe we will see the return of one of the Premier League’s most iconic and charismatic strikers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing