/ Soccer

Rodgers confident over Balotelli impact

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 08:23 | Comments

Mario Balotelli seen in the crowd during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester City
Mario Balotelli seen in the crowd during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester City

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident he can get the best out of Mario Balotelli despite the player's colourful past.

The 24-year-old has returned to the Premier League after finalising his £16million move from AC Milan and was at the Etihad Stadium to see his former club Manchester City beat his new side 3-1.

Balotelli has had an eventful career so far, none more so than during his three years at City where he got into his fair share of scrapes on and off the field, but Rodgers does not see that as a problem.

"I've worked with those type of players all my life from when I worked in youth coaching," he told Sky Sports.

"I never had the finished article and that's how - at times - I like it.
"Most players I like to sit down and look in the eye and see the honesty and the humility that they have.

"I spent a bit of time with him, about three-and-a-half hours, just talking him through Liverpool - it's a massive club and it's a different club, it's a family club with strong family values and as I said behaviour is very important here.

"He's a very bright boy. He was very clever. He understood where he's at this stage of his career and he knows himself that this is probably his last chance.

"I look at the talent. He's a wonderful talent. There's no doubt he's at a stage in his career that this might be the last chance at a big club because he needs to settle down and show maturity.

"He's got huge potential but needs to come to Liverpool and be consistent because if he can do that we've got one hell of a player."

"There's no doubt he's at a stage in his career that this might be the last chance at a big club because he needs to settle down and show maturity" - Brendan Rodgers

Former Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher believes Rodgers is taking a risk with Balotelli.

"Looking at the situation Liverpool were in, one week until the window shuts, they needed a striker and they're getting the Italian number one striker for £16million," he told Sky Sports.

"I think it is good business from Liverpool but there has got to be a worry signing Balotelli .

"There's a reason he costs £16million and has moved so often within his career already. That is a problem for Liverpool.

"If we could see the Balotelli we saw at Euro 2012 I'd say 'It's a great signing' but I don't want to see the Balotelli I saw at City in a Liverpool shirt: petulant, stupid, sendings-off, walking about.

"I played against him two or three times (and he was) doing nothing in the game and you knew if you got tight to him and put him under pressure he'd fall out again."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use