Rodgers gives Balotelli until January to 'prove his worth'

Published October 24th, 2014 - 10:52 GMT
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli

Liverpool football team boss Brendan Rodgers has provided striker Mario Balotelli to prove his worth or the manager would have to accept that his 16 million pounds gamble has not worked out and use the January transfer window to buy a more reliable goal-scorer.

Rodgers said that they brought in Balotelli to give him a chance and they would continue to do that. He added that Balotelli is working hard to try to fit into the team ethos here but added that only time will tell.

Rodgers said that Liverpool would see till next January what the team needs, The Guardian reported.

The misfiring Italian striker was not only hauled off at half-time in the Champions League game against Real Madrid on Thursday but managed to make himself even less popular on Merseyside by swapping shirts with Pepe as he made his way down the tunnel at the interval.

Former Liverpool skipper Graeme Souness was so enraged by that last act that he could not bring himself to speak about it as a Sky Sports pundit on the night, though he has since questioned the player's intelligence and suggested Rodgers would end up spending all his time defending Balotelli.

Souness said that it was a very brave move to take Balotelli on because one looks at the quality of managers who have tried and given up on the striker, which includes Roberto Mancini (twice), Cesare Prandelli and Jose Mourinho, adding that the last of whom said the Italian might only have one brain cell.

Souness said that Balotelli looks physically fit and powerful so he is wondering if the striker doesn't have a football brain. He added that Balotelli is not showing any enthusiasm, he has to have a personality change.

Souness said that if one considers on Balotelli's time at Inter, Milan and Manchester City before Liverpool, he needs a sea change.

Balotelli has been disciplined internally for the shirt exchange, which clearly upset Rodgers at the time, though the manager does not yet see the endlessly controversial player as a lost cause.

Rodgers said that Balotelli is certainly not uncontrollable, adding that he takes responsibility for every player he brings in, the manager always would, so there is no problem for him and the issue is very clear with the owners.

Rodgers said that they knew what we were getting, adding that he said before that it was a calculated risk to bring someone in and nothing has changed.

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