Urby Emanuelson believes Mario Balotelli's curtailed bad-boy image since his return to Italy to join AC Milan can only benefit the club in their Champions League ambition this season.
Balotelli is known for his light-hearted antics and well-documented misdemeanours off the park, but Emanuelson insists the former Manchester City striker is firmly focused ahead of their crucial Champions League playoff with PSV on Tuesday.
The Dutch attacker hopes that Balotelli, who is returning from a knock to face the Eredivisie side, can continue his fine form from last season where he scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances, and take the Rossoneri through to the group stages.
"Mario is a very important player for us, one with exceptional qualities. Making goals for him and the team is very important," he told reporters.
“In the group he is a good boy, he's always making jokes.
"Of course there are those crazy stories, but we don’t get so much of it. Mario has become more serious, perhaps it is also because he is back in Italy, which he likes.”
Emanuelson has come back to Milan after a successful loan spell at Fulham, and is also hoping to make an impact in front of coach Massimiliano Allegri in Tuesday's vital encounter.
“It is important for me that I play this season,” the 27-year-old added. “I am back at Milan and the coach has used me as a left-back so far.
“I think that would be my position for this season.
"There is a good rivalry between Kevin Constant and myself for the full-back spot, but Kevin is a friend, we talk a lot together. Let’s see who will play…
“PSV have always been a good team and this year they are young – but they still have great quality.”