Balotelli can be City's Roy Keane, says Kolo Toure
Published 22:45 11/08/10 By Neil McLeman
Mario Balotelli will bring the passion of Roy Keane to the Premier League, Kolo Toure has claimed.
And the Manchester City defender claimed his potential future team-mate can "be the difference" for Roberto Mancini's multi-million pound side this season.
The Eastlands club are striving to seal the £25m pound signing of the Inter Milan striker before the kickoff at Tottenham on Saturday.
SuperMario, who turns 20 today, made his Italy debut against the Ivory Coast at Upton Park on Tuesday night.
And Toure was impressed by his physical and mental strength.
"He's a great player, a really good guy as well and I had a few words with him on the pitch, and I hope to see him soon," he said
"He is perfect for the English game. He's very strong, he's technically very good, he's fast. He's got everything to be a top player in the Premier League. He is strong mentally as well.
"His attitude is very good as well, he reminds me of Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira these type of guys.
"They have a really strong mentality and, in the Premier League, we like those kind of players.
"I just told him that we are waiting for him, thats it. Now we hope that the deal will happen. I spoke to him before the end of the match and then again afterwards. We will see what happens."
Balotelli played 59 minutes of the Ivory Coast friendly in an under-cooked Italy side which does not start the Serie A season until August 30.
His strike partner Amauri said: "Balotelli is a player who can change a game - he is exceptional. He is growing and he will keep growing because he has such enthusiasm."
But the Brazil-born Juventus striker also hinted at the disciplinary problems which have hindered Balotelli's young career, most notably his fallout with then Inter coach Jose Mourinho last season. The talented teenager, who has a rocket free kick, is often reluctant to trackback to help his team-mates in their own half.
"He has a great future," Amauri added. "But it all depends on him - he has everything at such a young age. It all depends on him."
Former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi, who now plays for Villareal, said: "Mario is young and he wants to do well which is important.
"He is strong, quick and a good player and when you are a good player you can play anywhere."