There is every chance controversial striker Mario Balotelli might leave Liverpool in the January transfer window, according to reports. Mario Balotelli has failed to impress at Anfield since his £16m move from AC Milan. Balotelli has just scored one goal in 10 appearances, coming in the Champions League game against Ludogorets.
Brendan Rodgers is said to be concerned with the striker’s desire to work hard on the pitch. Balotelli has been criticized heavily for being lazy on the pitch and Rodgers wants his players to press high up the pitch. Balotelli conversion rate at Liverpool is also very poor, as the striker has missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities and can’t blame the midfielders for not producing goal scoring chances.
Brendan Rodgers: “We brought in the player to give him a chance, and give him every chance. At this moment in time of course he hasn’t scored the goals we would like or want. We are having to give him that opportunity. At this moment in time, it’ll be working with the players that we have and he is one of them. It’s not just about improving him but improving all the players. And we will see come January what the team needs.
“I will always take the responsibility for every player who comes through here. The manager always will. So you don’t need to look too far, you can label it on me so there is no problem there. I think it’s one which is very clear with the owners, in the conversations we had, we knew what we were getting.
“I think I said before this was a calculated risk to bring someone in, and nothing has changed. I’m not and haven’t been overly surprised by many things. We took in a young player that has football potential. Were we going to get that focus and concentration that is required to play consistently at the top level? That is something that will remain to be seen. Time will tell. I think at this moment in time he’s working hard to show he can deliver that.
“Whether the criticism is deserved or not, it’s a part of the game, and you have to accept it. No one likes it, however it comes, but as an individual, as a team and as a coach, you have to accept that.
“It’s one where the boy is genuinely trying very, very hard. Longer term, we’ll see how that works out for him. Certainly, he is working hard on the training field to improve his opportunities to play in the team and to score goals. He’s an individual talent who is working hard to try to fit into the team ethos, and the team identity.
“As long as he’s doing his best, that’s all I can ask for as a coach and as a manager. Whether that best is going to be good enough in the longer term remains to be seen. But that’s the same for every player, not just for Mario.”
Balotelli has once again dragged himself to an off-field controversy. According to Greater Manchester police, Balotelli threatened a woman after she allegedly took photographs of his Ferrari car while he was visiting his mother in Manchester.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester police said: “We are investigating a report of threatening behaviour following an incident in Pewsey Road, Wythenshawe.
“Officers will be speaking to all concerned in due course.”