Player plays for big club but doesn’t quite cut it.
So player moves to other big club.
Again, doesn’t quite cut it.
So player moves to another big club, albeit a lesser one.
The destination for Daniel Sturridge.
And now the destination for Mario Balotelli.
It’s remarkable how the careers of these two strikers both transpired to see them end up at Liverpool for their last chance saloon.
Both twenty three at the time.
Both with a lot to prove.
Both having failed to live up to expectations before.
Daniel will argue he wasn’t really given his chance at the Etihad.
In reality, he failed to make the grade at a top club who had a lot of talent at their disposal.
His time at the club will ultimately be looked upon as a failure.
Daniel will argue his wasn’t played in the right position at Stamford Bridge.
In reality, he failed to make the grade at a top club who despite having a lot of talent in the squad, actually struggled up front during his time there.
Again, his time at the club will ultimately be looked upon as a failure.
It was only when he took a step back to join Liverpool did he finally start to fulfill his potential.
He took his chance to light up a club that had finished mid-table three seasons in a row and helped catapult them up closer to where they belong.
Since joining Liverpool, Daniel has scored a quite remarkable 36 goals in 54 games.
He had only 38 goals before he signed and that was from 140 games.
Liverpool went from 8th to 2nd in just under two seasons.
Having only earned 1 cap in 6 and a half seasons at Manchester City and Chelsea, he then earned 15 caps and scored 5 goals in the past 18 months.
Played and scored in a World Cup.
Was selected in the PFA team of the season.
All signs that Daniel is finally ready to fulfill his potential.
All because he took his chance.
Had he not gone this way of course and gone the way he had of his days in blue, his next move would not have been a step forward.
A step back again.
Having already gone backward to a team finishing mid table, a step backward again would see Daniel well and truly out of the top drawer.
A long way back to the top from there.
Even a Champions League club is a long way from there in the Premier League.
And this is exactly the same situation that now faces Mario.
He came through the ranks at Internazionale.
The season they conquered all under Jose Mourinho, his chances were limited as he was continuously dropped from the squad for altercations.
Sold to Manchester City after a largely unsuccessful period in Italian football despite his team’s success.
A team on the up.
Soon to be Champions.
Soon to be too good for Mario to play a starring role.
Another step backward came as he returned to Milan.
This was his time to settle.
His big chance.
He was home.
A sleeping giant in need of waking up.
A giant who ended up happiest with Mario on the day he was sold.
From a £24 million player.
To a £20 million player.
To a £16 million player.
Mario has been missing his chances.
His next chance is to join forces with Daniel at Anfield.
To join Daniel on the same path he was on.
Join Daniel in the last chance saloon.
Mario now faces the same abyss that Daniel once faced.
His next move will be up to the level his new striking partner is hitting and a shot at fulfilling his potential.
Or a further step back to a team more suited to a good cup run and a shot at qualification for the Europa League if the season goes well.
Not much chance of him reaching his potential from there.
Not the same chance he has at Liverpool where after ten Premier League games he has yet to register a goal.
Not the start he would have wanted.
But far too early to make a call.
Brendan Rodgers needs him to start hitting the target.
And Mario needs to start hitting his targets.
His potential goal is being missed.
The same goal Daniel finally found at Anfield.
The same goal Mario must find soon...