Mauricio Pochettino: Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli important for Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino welcomes the return of Mario Balotelli to the Premier League

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles at White Hart Lane

Mauicio Pochettino has described Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli as an important player to have in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old Italy international could make his Liverpool debut against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday following a £16m move to Anfield from AC Milan earlier this week.

Mario is a big player and a lot of people know that he has a very good skill

Mauricio Pochettino

Balotelli’s return to the English top flight has garnered a mixed reaction after the controversial forward struggled to forge a successful Manchester City career before returning to Italy in 2013.

However, Spurs manager Pochettino believes Balotelli is still a “big player” and is welcoming the Italian’s return to the Premier League.

“He is a very good player and he is a star. For [the] Premier League, it is important all the big players come here,” said Pochettino after Spurs were 5-1 aggregate winners against Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday night.

“Mario is a big player and a lot of people know that he has a very good skill but it is important for the footballer and Liverpool – not for us.”

Tottenham have a miserable recent record against Liverpool, losing 5-0 to a Luis Suarez-inspired Reds side at White Hart Lane last year before a 4-0 defeat at Anfield in March.

But Pochettino, who replaced Tim Sherwood at the end of last season, isn’t concerned by their poor results against Brendan Rodgers’s side ahead of the potential top-four showdown.

“The past is the past. I don’t want to remember the past. It is a new season,” Pochettino added.

“Liverpool invest a lot of money this summer and we take another way, we believe in our squad and add some players to give the balance. Two different ways.”

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