I have to admit I didn't see that one coming - Mario Balotelli to Liverpool - although it was common knowledge in the game that Milan were desperate to offload him. And I mean desperate.
I tweeted yesterday saying that the phrase 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' came to mind. Liverpool finally wash their hands of Suarez and almost immediately sign up for more trouble with the enigmatic Italian. And mark my words, he'll be trouble.
That he's a talent there is no doubt. But, oh how we laughed when Roberto Mancini invested firstly so much money in him and then so much time defending him, almost on a daily basis. In the end he gave up.
Balotelli assured us he'd be a reformed character once he got his 'dream' move to his boyhood idols AC Milan. It didn't quite work out like that though did it?
I think Brendan Rodgers has taken a huge gamble. At the price - 16m - you could equally argue differently. For the money he SHOULD be value. And I really do hope Rodgers is correct. But I have my doubts
Suarez could be a handful but the one thing you could guarantee about him was that as soon as he crossed the white line he'd give you 100 per cent. Every time. The phrase 'world class' is bandied about too often, but in Suarez's case it's true. The same can't be said of Balotelli.
My mind drifts back to a conversation I once had with the former England Manager Graham Taylor. Discussing this very same scenario - a bad apple - he said: 'They never change. So many people believe they'll succeed where others haven't, but they NEVER change'. I'm fear Balotelli falls into that category. One or two more modern day X pro's we all know immediately come to mind! And I'm not talking about Cantona.
It's not just about dealing with the individual either. Just as happened Manchester City when Mancini started making Balotelli a special case it soon unsettles the others in the squad. At City Balotelli was known as 'Mancini's son' by the rest of the squad. Not a healthy situation
At his best Balotelli can be brilliant. The problem is he's rarely as his best - and he's a handful. I genuinely wish Brendan Rodgers all the luck in the world. But they never change.......