Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson has criticised Mario Balotelli following his departure from Manchester City, voicing his belief that the striker, who “winds himself up”, won’t be missed.
The controversial Italian was subject to one of the prolonged transfer sagas of the January window and eventually left on the last day of the month, moving to AC Milan for a fee believed to be around the £20 million mark.
The 22-year-old had endured a tough first half of the season with the Citizens, managing a paltry return of three goals in 20 appearances as he struggled to feature ahead of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez.
Johnson, whose Liverpool side face Balotelli’s old team tomorrow, clearly feels this was the right decision for Manchester City, as he voiced his belief that the other strikers at the club will produce on a more regular basis.
“No, I don’t think City will miss Balotelli, they have got some fantastic players and they’ve got a lot of players who will score a lot more goals than Mario did. I’m sure they won’t miss him too much,” he told reporters.
“I’m not being disrespectful to the guy, everyone in the country knows what he’s like. On his day, he can be a great player, but City have got other great players who do it a lot more often and score more goals than him.”
Balotelli’s discipline issues were well-documented during his time in England – he picked up 11 yellow cards last season – and Johnson also suggested that Balotelli had something of a propensity towards petulance.
“Mario winds himself up, you don’t need to do too much as an opposition defender,” he continued.
“We all have our faults, but Mario let his side down with silly red cards and stuff like that. He’s a great player, but we didn’t see that enough.”