Brendan Rodgers discusses Mario Balotelli, Alexis Sanchez and Liverpool transfers
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 17/01/16 5:27pm
Brendan Rodgers has admitted he did not want Liverpool to sign Mario Balotelli and it was a decision that "cost" the club.
Rodgers believed the Reds, who recruit via an internal committee, would be signing Alexis Sanchez to replace Luis Suarez, whose departure he describes as a "huge blow".
The plan was for Rickie Lambert to add a different option but Rodgers believes extra pressure was put on the former Southampton striker as Balotelli struggled to make an impact.
Rodgers, speaking as a guest on Goals on Sunday, told Sky Sports: "The ownership group want to bring in young players, look to see them develop and move on. A lot of the players who came in were 24 or below.
"Transfers were a group decision; it was certainly not something where I would have the sole final say. It's difficult because you want a player in but if the player is not on the list, you'd have to take someone.
"It was a huge blow to lose Luis. I built the team around him. Ideally, after the second season when we'd just missed out [on the title], you keep your best players, add one or two and then hopefully go on and win it.
"Unfortunately we lost a world-class player and you've seen his impact at Barcelona. I think his mind was made up. We needed a player who could press at the top, not just a goal-scorer, because Luis was giving us so much more than that.
"The huge blow was that we thought we were getting Alexis Sanchez and that he'd be a like-for-like replacement, in terms of how he pressed the game and his aggression. We thought he'd be perfect, it'd be a smooth transition, and Rickie Lambert would come in and be an option if we needed something else in the game.
"But we didn't get Alexis Sanchez and, bless Rickie, there was a lot of pressure on him when really that wasn't the plan. So we had to bring in someone. After the AC Milan game, I was asked the question and I felt Mario wasn't someone who suited the profile of what we were after.
"Mario has big talent. I wasn't thinking I'd be any different in terms of managers who've had issues with him but, at that moment, we didn't really have another option. Come the end of the summer we were struggling to get in the type of player we wanted and the ownership thought this was a player I could develop.
"It didn't quite work for us and it cost us."