Liverpool signed Italy striker Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for 16 million pounds ($26.5 million) on Monday, taking a calculated gamble on a headline-grabbing player known as much for his controversies as his goals. Nineteen months after ending a 2 1/2-year spell with Manchester City to play for his boyhood club, Balotelli will return to the English Premier League as a replacement for Luis Suarez -- another of world footballs talented but disruptive stars. "Im happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake," Balotelli said. "I wanted to go to Italy but I realized it was a mistake." Balotelli, who has signed what Liverpool said is a "long-term deal," spent his first day with his new team watching the Reds lose 3-1 to City in a Premier League game at Etihad Stadium later Monday. He wasnt registered in time to play. Liverpool has been looking to strengthen its strikeforce after selling Suarez to Barcelona for $130 million but left it to the last week of the transfer window to secure one of the summers most high-profile and intriguing signings. During his time at City, in which he won the league title, Balotelli was sent off four times, threw a dart at a youth-team player and was involved in an incident that saw fireworks explode in his bathroom. Days before news of the fireworks incident emerged, Balotelli had revealed a T-shirt under his City jersey with the question, "Why Always Me?" after scoring in the teams 6-1 win over Manchester United. Balotelli, with his physique, technical ability and qualities as a finisher, is one of the worlds best strikers and, at 24, the best times of his career could still lie ahead of him. At Milan, he scored 26 goals in 43 league matches and he is the Italian national teams top striker, scoring 13 goals in 33 games. But with trouble always seeming to follow him, some are questioning whether Balotelli is worth the risk for Liverpool, which has fostered a strong team spirit under manager Brendan Rodgers that helped it finish second in the Premier League last season. Jose Mourinho described Balotelli as "unmanageable" during their time together at Inter Milan, which the striker left in 2010 to join City. "He knows himself this is probably is last chance," Rodgers said. "Mario is someone we can improve both as a footballer and as a person." "He has a reputation but we hope he can curb that behaviour," Rodgers added after the City game. "He knows his flaws and faults and he is looking for someone to help him. There is no better club for him. Of course it is a risk." Rodgers, however, got the best out of Suarez and current first-choice striker Daniel Sturridge, who both had turbulent pasts before arriving at Anfield. Sections of the British media have reported that Balotelli has had to agree to behaviour clauses being included in his contract with Liverpool. "I believe we have the infrastructure, culture and environment to get the best out of him and help him achieve his true potential," Rodgers said. "We are a strong group here, committed to hard work and he will benefit from being around it. "I am looking forward to working with him and helping him learn more, improve and progress as a player." Rodgers attempts to bring in a striker has seen him look at France forward Loic Remy of Queens Park Rangers, whose switch to Anfield broke down at the last minute, and former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea star Samuel Etoo. Last month, during Liverpools tour of the United States, Rodgers was linked with a bid for Balotelli but said "I can categorically tell you that he will not be at Liverpool." The U-turn was completed on Monday. "This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here," Rodgers said. "There is no doubting Marios ability; he is a world-class talent and someone who, for such a young age, has vast experience of playing at the very highest level." Asked what his targets at Liverpool were, Balotelli said: "I want to take this team to the Champions League." Mattia De Sciglio Juventus Jersey . Trailing 5-4 in the third set, the 12th-ranked Isner fought off two match points and evened it at 5-5 with consecutive aces. The former University of Georgia star had his only service break of the match to go up 6-5 before firing the last four of his 30 aces to close out Ginepri, an Atlanta resident ranked 281st. Miralem Pjanic Juventus Jersey . 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Carlo Pinsoglio Juventus Jersey .com) - Virginia is for loving Latrell Scott.The Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets hooked up to make a deal involving veteran wingers, both of whom have size and can score. Numbers Game looks into the trade that sends Scott Hartnell to Columbus for R.J. Umberger and a pick. The Blue Jackets Get: LW Scott Hartnell. Hartnell, 32, is coming off a season in which he scored 20 goals for the seventh time in his career and his 52 points represented the third-highest total of his career. Since joining the Flyers in 2007, hes one of eight players with at least 100 goals and 500 penalty minutes. While Hartnell does take more than his share of penalties, hes an aggravating player to play against, doesnt hesitate to go to the other teams net and has a tendency to fall, which means he also draws a lot of penalties. So long as hes healthy, Hartnell gets involved in the play. Despite his style of play, Hartnell is durable. Hes missed 23 games in seven seasons with the Flyers, including 16 games with a broken foot in 2013. Part of the reason that Hartnell has been so effective is that he has been riding shotgun alongside Claude Giroux for a good portion of the last handful of seasons. While Hartnell isnt necessarily the one driving play on that line, hes been a very good complement to Giroux and Jakub Voracek, most recently, as that trio has generated better possession numbers together than when they were apart. In Columbus, that ability to play with top talent, could give Hartnell a legitimate chance to spend time on the wing with Ryan Johansen on the Blue Jackets first line, though Boone Jenner and Nathan Horton can make some claims to those wing spots as well. Where this deal could become an issue for Columbus is that Hartnell is signed through 2019, thats five more seasons, at a cap hit of $4.75-million. Hartnell isnt the fleetest afoot already, so as he gets into his mid-thirties, that is only going to be more of an issue in a game that is getting ever faster. But, if Hartnell could fill a top six role for the next couple seasons, and a third or fourth line spot for a couple more, then maybe the last year could be tolerable when compared to what the Blue Jackets felt they could be getting out of Umberger going forward. The Flyers Get: LW R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round pick. Umberger is a 32-year-old who can play all three forward spots and is a five-time 20-goal scorer who has hit for 50 points or more three times in his career. This past season, Umbergers role was reduced, his 16:53 average time on ice reprresenting his lowest since 2006-2007, when he was playing for Philadelphia.dddddddddddd. While Umberger doesnt stir things up the way Hartnell does, hes still a physical player, using his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame to his advantage and Umberger is a stronger skater. The trouble for Umberger is that hes been getting worse as a possession player. He had some okay years mixed with some bad years earlier in his career, but Umberger has been thumped in possession terms over the past three seasons and virtually every one of his teammates has fared better without Umberger on the ice. That doesnt mean Umberger cant play. It does mean he was likely playing too big a role on a Columbus team that, until 2013-2014, has been on the wrong side of the scoreboard all too often. Where does Umberger fit in Philadelphia? Well, his flexibility does help in this respect. While Umberger isnt necessarily a natural choice to play with Giroux and Voracek, playing alongside Sean Couturier and Matt Read could be a possibility. Umberger has also played enough centre that he could fit into that spot if the Flyers juggle some pieces around when composing their lines. If Umberger isnt going to play on the Flyers top line, thats a plum opening. If it is going to come from within, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn or Vincent Lecavalier could get that opportunity. Umberger is signed for three more seasons, at a cap hit of $4.6-million per season, so he doesnt provide much cap relief, aside from the fact that his deal runs a couple of years less than Hartnells. A fourth-round pick doesnt offer huge value, but of the 600 picks in the 91-120 range made between 1990 and 2009, just over 4% became top-six forwards, top-four defencemen or starting goaltenders, while just under 20% have played (or are most likely to play) 100 NHL games. Immediately, the Blue Jackets appear to be the better team for making this deal. Not that Hartnell holds a monumental advantage over Umberger, but hes been more productive and has fared positively no matter who he plays with. Umberger had requested a move out of Columbus, not appreciating his declining role, and he should have a chance to play a top nine role in an organization that he played with for the first three seasons of his NHL career but, in a vacuum, this deal makes the Flyers slightly worse. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2020 Wholesale NFL Gear China Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys China ' ' '