When Mario Balotelli moved to AC Milan this summer, he was warned it was his last chance.
After a miserable year at Liverpool, Milan took a flyer on the 25-year-old striker, who was in some of the best form of his career when he played for the Italian club a few years ago.
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However, after playing for the AC Milan reserves, first-team boss Sinisa Mihajlovic called out Balotelli for being a bit overweight, and said he still needs to improve before earning a promotion from the reserve side.
I have doubts in every area of the team… Today those who haven’t played much were given a chance and they showed why they are reserves.
I’m not talking about anyone in particular but about everyone. Balotelli? We played against a Serie C side. He is not in good shape and has to improve, just like all the others, otherwise he won’t play.
He’s not played for a while and he still has to improve.
He’s training well and his physical tests are satisfactory, but he’s three kilograms overweight: he’s on a diet and when he’s ready he will play.”
Mihajlovic was angered with the entire team’s play after barely scraping a 3-2 win over third-tier side Mantova FC, but to publicly comment on Balotelli and his weight is not a good sign.
Statistically, Balotelli had a strong game, scoring a goal and assisting on another, while drawing a penalty that resulted in the third.
It’s possible that Mihajlovic is just playing “bad cop” with Balo to keep him in line, but it’s also very possible he isn’t currently up to his manager’s standards. Either way, he has to improve to stop his career’s downward trend.