After completing a medical and declaring Milan is "in the heart," Mario Balotelli was on the pitch at Milanello Tuesday, training with Milan ahead of Saturday's match against Empoli.
The Italian international completed a medical at the Madonnia Clini in Milan Tuesday morning before joining Sinisa Mihajlovic's squad and reuniting with his old teammates.
First training of the week for the Rossoneri, ahead of #MilanEmpoli. Also @FinallyMario joined the team! #forzaMilan pic.twitter.com/R7vD7aoYSy— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 25, 2015
Balotelli is back with the Rossoneri on a season-long loan from Premier League giant Liverpool. The English club has agreed to pay half of Balotelli's wages, as the 25-year-old headline generator looks to rediscover his scoring touch. Balotelli only scored four goals in 28 matches for Liverpool after making the move from Milan last summer for 23 million euros.
With the arrivals of Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke, Balotelli had been pushed farther down the ladder of Liverpool strikers. Many times in the preseason, Brendan Rodgers had him training on his own away from the squad.
After arriving in Milan, Balotelli spoke with ACMilan.com about his joy to be back with the club.
"I am happy to be back. I don't have much to say because I just need to train and prove myself. Physically I am fit but I need to train with the squad. I am very motivated but I need to work hard and talk less. I always hoped I would return to Milan, the club hold a special place in my heart. Do I want to end my career here? I just want to get back to work and have a good season, I have to work and that is it."
Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has declared this Balotelli's last chance to salvage his career as a big-time striker. He found the net consistently for Milan—30 goals in 54 matches over two seasons—but the attitude displayed by the young forward detracted from his on-field performance.
Maybe Milan is the place to rediscover himself. He was in the best form of his career was when he was playing with Milan, the club he grew up supporting. He scored an equal number of goals at Manchester City, but despite playing in 26 more matches with the English juggernaut, Balotelli only played 109 more minutes in Manchester than he did at Milan. Though, that should say something about his ability to take advantage of opportunities in front of goal.
Statistics from transfermarkt.com
Balotelli will certainly give a boost to Milan's attack. Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano are great additions to the club, but they have yet to hit their stride. After a quiet preseason, they were non-factors against Fiorentina, and they only connected with each other on one pass. Granted, Milan got behind the 8-ball with Rodrigo Ely's red card, but the attack still left a lot to be desired.