Former Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli believes that Marcus Thuram was not close to the level he currently is when he was in Ligue 1.

The Italian spoke to Italian broadcaster TVPlay regarding Thuram, via L’Interista, who he watched grow whilst in the French top flight.

Thuram is now making headlines as an Inter player.

The 26-year-old has been one of the outstanding players at the start of the Nerazzurri’s season.

Thuram may have only joined Inter in the summer. But there is a feeling that he seems to have been part of the team for a lot longer.

The Frenchman has looked very adept at linking up with his teammates.

Thuram has particularly formed a very effective partnership in attack with Inter captain Lautaro Martinez.

Goals and assists have both come at a steady pace from the 26-year-old.

It has been widely noted that Thuram has exceeded expectations.

And those were not low. Not following four very promising, high-quality seasons playing for Borussia Monchengladbach.

It was these years in Germany that really caught Inter’s eye.

But before then, Thuram had found his feet in the senior game playing in France.

He played for Sochaux and then Guingamp, from whom he joined Gladbach in 2019.

Mario Balotelli Hails Growth Of Marcus Thuram From Ligue 1 Days

Former Inter, AC Milan, Liverpool, and Manchester City striker Balotelli was never a teammate of Thuram.

But the Italian did have the chance to observe the Frenchman up close for a few years.

Balotelli played in Ligue 1, for the likes of Nice and then Marseille.

And these years coincided with Thuram’s formative years in the French top flight.

Balotelli noted that “Thuram wasn’t anywhere near this level when he played in France.”

“He’s taken a huge step up,” the Italian noted.

“I think he’s also capable of playing as a lone striker.”

The former Inter striker also gave his thoughts on the comparisons between the Nerazzurri under Antonio Conte and under SImone Inzaghi.

“Simone inherited this team,” he noted. “But since then, there have been a lot of changes to the squad.”

“There have also been a lot of high-level additions to the squad,” he noted.

“So it’s also thanks to the club, and not just to the coach.”

“But then, Inter were also devastating under Conte,” he noted. “He prepares for matches very well.”

“But then maybe Inzaghi is also able to get the best out of players,” Balotelli observed.