Dugarry: Balotelli makes Ben Arfa look like a choirboy

The Italian striker has called time on a nightmare spell with Liverpool, joining Nice on a free transfer, but one former France international has serious reservations

Former France international Christophe Dugarry is sceptical over whether Mario Balotelli can rediscover his best form at Nice.

Ex-Inter, Manchester City and AC Milan striker Balotelli ended a nightmare spell at Liverpool by securing a free transfer to the Ligue 1 side on transfer deadline day.

Dugarry, a 1998 World Cup winner who was also something of a mercurial talent, does not expect to see Balotelli back at the level of form he showed in helping City to the 2011-12 Premier League title and Italy into the final of Euro 2012 – comparing him unfavourably with Hatem Ben Afra.

Ben Arfa arrived at Nice last season dogged by a reputation of being difficult off the field, but shone to secure a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

“Balotelli? Next to him, Ben Arfa is a choirboy,” Dugarry told RMC.

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“[Jean-Pierre] Rivere is an interesting and intelligent president [but] I’m not convinced this is the right choice.

“It was absolutely necessary to [sign] an attacker. [With Balotelli] it’s double or quits.

“You know if the guy returns to his level he will perform. But this kid does not light on all floors (lacks intelligence). I think it’s already too late.”

After signing for Liverpool from Milan two years ago, Balotelli scored one goal in 16 appearances during his solitary Premier League season at Anfield.

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