New Delhi: It's funny how money is the answer to so many things in the English Premier League yet it poses some of the most serious questions. Transfer amounts are fascinating, amazing to quote and almost irresistible to associate a player's quality to.
Take Mario Balotelli for example, taken off the field for a failed trick shot two months ago and red carded almost at his own choice several times but the most crucial statistic of them still weighs in his favour. 24 million pounds, that's what Manchester City paid for him and that's what keeps him on-board.
No doubt about his talent, personally I think he was 'the buy' for Manchester City one year ago. But that is where the paradox lies; Manchester City had bought him one year ago, when they did not have Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, James Milner, Samir Nasri and probably a few others.
The Eastlands side then, just had a couple of gun-powders and Balotelli would have been the ideal spark. But they are a different side now, bombarded by dollars and the freedom to spend them, Mancini has formed an outfit that all but suits the Italian.
Contrary to Balotelli's fate, stands a man that I have hugely admired even as his appearances have been fewer than the paices of debris the world saw of the falling satellite; Adam Johnson. Being someone who I always saw as a team player, the English international has warmed the benches of Mancini's side almost miserably fading in the dazzle besides him.
He comes on every now and then, finds his mark, settles in and then in the next match, he goes back to where he is made to believe that he is important. It all makes me believe that his departure from the Etihad Stadium is a question which is more of a 'when' rather than an 'if', at least in his mind.
In an era where green is a colour which you find more familiar off the field than on it, it is not surprising that Balotelli still finds the grateful arms of his manager. Was the goal, the only trigger; I doubt.