Liverpool & Fiorentina to swap super Mario strikers Balotelli & Gomez?
Liverpool, nifty 9/4 chances with Coral for a top four Premier League finish, may be able to offload flopping frontman Mario Balotelli back to his native Italy, in a striker swap with Fiorentina’s former Germany striker Mario Gomez, according to reports on the continent.
Both 24-year-old Balotelli and namesake Gomez, 30, have seen their careers stall at Anfield and in Florence respectively. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers sold Luis Suarez for big money to Barcelona last summer, and the hierarchy gambled on ex-Manchester City forward Balotelli with a £16m swoop later in that transfer window.
A move for maverick Azzurri international Balotelli backfired spectacularly, however, as he scored just once in 16 Premier League outings as Liverpool finished fifth. Overall seasonal stats of four in 28 do not make much better reading.
Former Bayern Munich and Stuttgart frontman Gomez, meanwhile, has made just 29 Serie A outings across the last two campaigns through injury, but was previously prolific when fully fit. In back-to-back seasons between 2010 and 2012, he managed an incredible 80 goals in 97 appearances at the Allianz Arena in all competitions.
Born to a Spanish father but capped 60 times for his motherland Germany, scoring 25, Gomez missed out on his country’s World Cup triumph last summer through injury. If the Reds could keep him fit, then they would have a dangerous attacker in their ranks, who has the frame to be threat in the Premier League.
Gomez’s previously poor fitness record is a concern, however. Rodgers already has Daniel Sturridge in his ranks, who struggled with injuries last term and is unlikely to play until the autumn.
With Raheem Sterling close to leaving Anfield, frontline reinforcements would help, despite the captures of Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino, plus Divock Origi’s belated arrival on Merseyside.
A rich attacking roster with Balotelli replaced with Gomez can bolster Liverpool’s Europa League (14/1) and Premier League (22/1 outright) chases.