Due to the strength of Serie A, it would be fair to say that there have been few Italian players making the switch to England to ply their trade in the Premier League. In fact, at the time of writing there are just two Italian internationals who are with a Premiership club, although the division's league winners are at least managed by an Italian in the form of Roberto Mancini.
Bearing the above in mind, we'll now take a look at the two players, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini, as well as Mancini, and look at how the trio have adapted to English football. No betting bonus for guessing this list of Italian talent.
Those who kept an eye on Italian football several years ago will know plenty about Mario Balotelli. There have been times where some have said that he has potential to become one of the best players in the world, yet others when some individuals have speculated that his time in professional football won't be prolonged due to his appalling disciplinary record. During his time at Inter Milan, he tarnished his reputation in the worst way possible with the club by appearing on a television show wearing an A.C. Milan shirt. Suffice to say, his future at the San Siro didn't last long and he quickly followed Roberto Mancini out of the door.
Needless to say, Balotelli's career in England has been even more controversial, so much so that there have been times where Mancini has seemingly lost all his patience and has looked to offload him at the earliest opportunity. He has been the subject of several problems on-the-field and the fact he picked up four red cards in a season speaks volumes about this. However, away from his disciplinary problems he has been a very accomplished striker for City and his seventeen goals last season went a long way in securing the title for the Etihad Stadium outfit. Moreover, it also seemed to help him with his form on the international scene and immediately after that season, he went on to become a huge player for the Italians in Euro 2012 after scoring three goals.
In comparison to Balotelli, there is no doubt that Fabio Borini is a much quieter character. However, expectations for the 21-year-old are certainly high and the fact he cost Liverpool £10.5m in the summer shows how accomplished he is.
Following on from this move, there were hopes that Borini could become an instant hit in the Premier League. He had already experienced some success in the English game after helping Swansea reach the top flight several years ago during a loan spell. Considering the fact that this was under his new manager, Brendan Rodgers, many people though that Borini could have been an exceptionally shrewd signing by the Anfield side. Unfortunately, on current viewing, it looks as though the former Roma striker is struggling to adapt and has yet to score in the league. While he has managed one goal in the Europa League, several fans have voiced concerns at his lack of confidence in front of goal following many spurned chances.
However, while the above two players hold sterling reputations in English football, it's undoubtedly Roberto Mancini who has tasted the most success. After being appointed in late 2009, Mancini has overseen the "big spending" years at Manchester City and masterminded their historic title victory last season. While there's no doubt that most people will look straight to that achievement on Mancini's C.V, he has also overseen an FA Cup win as well as a victory in the FA Community Shield. This means that he is already regarded as one of the most successful managers in the Premier League and having just signed a new 5-year contract at City, it looks as though he has plenty more time to build on this success.
Of course, such success should not surprise the Italians. Even though a lot of people point to the fact that Mancini has had ridiculous finance available to him, those who studied his early career know that he has tasted success on a budget. He accumulated silverware at both Fiorentina and Lazio with little money, while he won umpteen trophies during his time at Inter Milan when his budget increased.