As West Ham’s search for a striker goes on, could Mario Balotelli hold the key to their chances of achieving success next season?

The Hammers’ move for Maxi Gomez collapsed earlier this week.

And with less than a month remaining before the transfer window slams shut, panic could start to set in.

West Ham have already sold Marko Arnautovic, and released Andy Carroll. So they are desperately short in the centre-forward department.

Mario Balotelli has been mentioned as a potential transfer target. The Telegraph claims that the Italian has been offered to the Hammers.

There will undoubtedly be plenty of West Ham fans who are wary of the prospect of signing the 28-year-old.

On his day he is truly unplayable, however. And he could have a similar impact at West Ham to the one made by Paolo Di Canio all those years ago.

Paolo Di Canio
Paolo Di Canio (DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The 51-year-old was very similar to Balotelli before he arrived in east London. Trouble both on and off the pitch had undermined his career. All that was forgotten when he joined the Hammers, however.

The enigmatic Italian went on to be a club legend at West Ham. He was adored by the Upton Park faithful, in spite of his checkered past.

And Balotelli could go on to do the same…

The enigmatic striker is the kind of character Hammers fans love. He is a bad boy who courts controversy everywhere he goes.

Olympique de Marseille Training Session
Mario Balotelli (Photo by Guillaume Ruoppolo – OM/Olympique de Marseille via Getty Images)

Let us not forget how talented he is, however.

He racked up an impressive 34 goals in 63 appearances over the last two seasons, and if given a new lease of life at West Ham, he might just flourish under Pellegrini.

His availability on a free transfer also makes a move for him risk-free for the east Londoners.

And if Pellegrini takes the plunge and brings Balotelli to the London Stadium, it could turn out to be an inspired piece of business fro West Ham.

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