Balotelli ‘makes things easier’ at Nice – Srarfi

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The Italy international is out of contract with the Cote d'Azur club in the summer, and losing him would be a major blow

Nice youngster Bassem Srarfi has praised the contribution of Mario Balotelli at the club.

The Italy international striker is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a variety of clubs while agent Mino Raiola has touted him as one of the bargains of the summer and team-mate Alassane Plea has dubbed him a player worth €100 million.

Balotelli has scored 14 times in Ligue 1 this season, making him Nice’s top scorer, and winger Srarfi has hailed what the 27-year-old brings to the side.

“Mario always puts the ball where you want it. He also makes things easier for you because he sucks in players with and gives you more freedom,” he told Goal.

“It is a relationship that becomes reciprocal because, thanks to his physical qualities and positioning, he is easy to find.”

Meanwhile, the Tunisia international does not believe he should be seen as the next Hatem Ben Arfa, despite following in the winger’s footsteps by joining Nice. 

“In Tunisia, where any player will dribble, I was used to playing like Hatem Ben Arfa,” the 20-year-old said of the PSG player, who will be a free agent in the summer. “This is the football we play in Tunisia. In France we do not play like Ben Arfa. 

“I'm left footed like him. He's a great player but there is not much comparison, I do not see myself as his successor.”

With a World Cup place in his sights, he is pleased that he is so closely followed by fans back in his homeland.

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“I think a lot about the World Cup, so I hope to play regularly at the end of the season to show myself off,” he said. “I am very proud that the Tunisian fans follow me and that what I do is important to them. There are many Tunisians here in Nice, so I often have messages of support. It gives me strength.”

And his targets for the national team, who are slated to face England in the group stage, in Russia this summer are simple.

“God willing, we will win it!” he said.

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