Liverpool manager hopes Mario Balotelli can emulate Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident that Mario Balotelli can discard his bad boy image at the Reds
Brendan Rodgers is optimistic that Mario Balotelli can follow Daniel Sturridge’s lead and discard his bad boy image.
The Italy international made his Liverpool debut as the Reds were 3-0 winners at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday following his £16m switch from AC Milan last week.
He’s got a long way to go but understands he’s at a club now where it’s all about the team
Balotelli, who squandered a number of chances at White Hart Lane, was viewed as a troublemaker during his spell at Manchester City before sealing a return to Italy in 2013.
Similarly, Sturridge joined Liverpool in a £12m deal over 18 months ago with a reputation for being a selfish player, but Rodgers has transformed the striker into one of England’s best finishers.
And the Liverpool manager is hoping Balotelli can learn from Sturridge and shake off his bad boy tag at the Merseyside outfit.
“There’s a lot of background noise with Mario Balotelli,” Rodgers told talkSPORT. “He’s a good kid and I really like him. He knows what his flaws are but he’s maturing.
“It was the same situation when Daniel Sturridge came to Liverpool. Everyone said what he couldn’t do, that he wasn’t a team player and his attitude wasn’t right. He’s been brilliant since he’s been here.
“It’s the same when you look at Mario. He’s got a long way to go but understands he’s at a club now where it’s all about the team.”