Brendan Rodgers hasn’t given up on Mario Balotelli, says Liverpool legend
Jan Molby says the clock is ticking on Mario Balotelli's Liverpool career
Jan Molby says he would be very surprised if Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has already given up on Mario Balotelli.
The Italy international was replaced at half-time of their 3-0 loss to Real Madrid after failing to make an impact against the Champions League holders on Wednesday night.
I’d be amazed if Rodgers has given up on him yet. He has to continue to work with him at least until Daniel Sturridge is fit
Balotelli was heavily criticised for his performance as well as an incident which saw the 24-year-old swap shirts with Madrid centre-half Pepe at half-time at Anfield.
And Liverpool legend Molby is hoping Daniel Sturridge’s return from injury will help integrate the struggling £16m summer signing into the Liverpool side.
“I was surprised that so many people thought it was going to be his night. How was playing Real made for Balotelli? I certainly hadn’t seen anything to believe he would cause them problems,” Molby wrote in his Liverpool Echo column.
“I had a feeling when Rodgers signed him that he had taken on his biggest challenge and so it’s proved. The question is what do Liverpool do with him now? To sell him in January would be to admit we made a big mistake signing him.
“I’d be amazed if Rodgers has given up on him yet. He has to continue to work with him at least until Daniel Sturridge is fit.
“Maybe when Sturridge is back and playing alongside him, we’ll see an improvement but as it stands it’s been very difficult to integrate Balotelli into the side.
“His attitude, work rate and style has never changed, no matter who he has played for. He doesn’t harass defenders or set the tempo for the team, but if he wants to be a success at Liverpool he has to contribute more.”
Balotelli has scored one goal in 11 appearances in all competitions this season.