"It is one thing to look at how a player is physically, but the mental well being of a player is just as important. It can be the difference between teams going up, getting relegated or reaching the Champions League.
"The mind plays a massive part in a player's development and performance and this is something clubs need to tap into if they want to increase their chances of winning."
The view that talent alone is not enough is one which is widely supported by sports psychologists.
That is an approach not lost on five-time European champions Liverpool.
As part of a new philosophy adapted by manager Brendan Rodgers, -- appointed at Anfield in June last year -- the club recruited Dr Steve Peters, who helped hone the minds of Britain's all-conquering Olympic cyclists.
"It is absolutely vital that young players are given support right from the start," said Rebecca Symes, Sport Psychologist from British organization Sporting Success, who argues the amount of psychological support available to footballers decreases as they progress into the first team.
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), a body which represents the interests of soccer players in England and Wales, was not available for comment when contacted by CNN.
"The transition from an academy into a senior squad is a really significant time," continued Symes. "I don't think enough emphasis is put on providing support to players during this transition and then throughout their professional career.
"While the access to support is a lot better compared to 10 years ago there is a lot of work still to do, especially in football."
With clubs in England's top division receiving unprecedented levels of income -- the recent sale of EPL television rights domestically and internationally is set to generate more than $8 billion according to British media reports -- Symes sees no reason why mental health professionals should not be given a higher profile at clubs.
"Don't get me wrong there is some great work being done by organisations such as the PFA; Sporting Chance Clinic and the like. But appropriately qualified internal backroom staff fully integrated within a club is essential."
Breaking into a top-flight team can transform a young player's life as they are exposed to the pressures of a voracious 24/7 media and experience a level of financial wealth which they previously would have probably only dreamed of.
While sudden monetary gain itself might not destabilize a player, an inability to manage their finances in the long term might, suggests Dan Abrahams -- a sports psychologist specializing in football.
"I think its more having a capacity to deal with the wealth which comes to them," said Abrahams. "Over time, if you're not doing that, it can create pressure.
"The club needs to produce a culture of excellence," added Abrahams. "The five Cs -- culture; confidence, commitment, cohesion and caring.
"Many people would baulk at the last one. They might become multimillionaire footballers, but the only way they get there is if they have emotional and intellectual support."
After a career which shares some parallels with that of Balotelli, what advice would Pericard -- with the benefit of hindsight -- offer to the Italian?
"To seek help and accept help that will allow him to fulfil your potential and play until 35 and maybe be the best player in the world," he answered.
"With everything surrounding him, that is not going to happen. Accept the help that people are giving. Please accept it".
Over to you Mario.