Roberto Mancini believes that Mario Balotelli can become the best striker in world football within two years.
But the Blues boss warned fans to have patience with the 20-year-old from Palermo who will need time to ‘learn the English game’.
It was Mancini, as manager of Inter, who gave Balotelli his big break as a teenager and the City chief has no worries about the player’s temperament or behaviour.
Instead he is happy to focus on the undoubted ability.
Mario has everything a striker needs, he is quick strong, can score with both feet and is good in the air
“If he learns the game here in England quickly, then in two years or so he could be right up there with players like Carlos Tevez as the best there is. He has the talent to go to the very top.”
Mancini is not concerned about any of the stories that have travelled from Italy ahead of Balotelli’s arrival.
“He is young and all young people, footballers or not footballers, say and do things that they wouldn’t do if they were older,” he said.
“I made mistakes when I was young, everyone has. I have no worries about Mario. He has strong spirit and I like that spirit.”
Mancini confirmed that Balotelli will travel to Romania with the squad for the first leg of the Europa League tie and may yet make his debut against FC Timisoara.
He is likely to make his home bow against Liverpool next Monday night. Fans can still get hold of a small number of seats for that game and it is not too late to snap up a season ticket for this campaign.