Premier League: Mario Balotelli struggling to adapt Liverpool's style of play, says Brendan Rodgers
Last Updated: 26/12/14 2:05pm
Brendan Rodgers admits Mario Balotelli is struggling to adapt to Liverpool’s style of play and has refused to comment on speculation linking Fernando Torres with a return to Anfield.
I think we’ve seen it’s not really his game.
Balotelli is available for the Boxing Day trip to Burnley after a groin injury and a one-match suspension limited him to just one match since November 8.
However, the Italy striker, who has yet to score in the Premier League since arriving on Merseyside for £16m in the summer, is likely to be on the bench at Turf Moor.
Rodgers recently changed to a 3-4-3 system with Raheem Sterling leading the attack and the Liverpool manager admits it does not suit Balotelli’s style of play.
“I think we’ve seen it’s not really his game,” Rodgers said on Sky Sports News HQ. “Working with Mario, we see someone who is better around the box.
“That level of intensity and pressing isn’t part of his game but you try and get the best out of the players you have and the qualities that you have.
“So that’s something that we will focus on, but the most important thing is that he’s available after his ban. It adds another player to our squad and another player who is available, especially with Fabio Borini unavailable.”
Rodgers may have been willing to talk about Balotelli but the Reds boss refused to be drawn on stories linking Torres with a return to Merseyside for a cut-price £10m.
The Spain striker left to join Chelsea in 2011 but failed to justify his £50m price tag and was sent out on loan to AC Milan in August.
The 30-year-old, who enjoyed the most prolific goalscoring spell of his career with Liverpool, has since failed to impress for the Serie A club, scoring just once in 10 games.
However, Rodgers would not confirm or deny the reports regarding Torres: "I won't comment on any player linked to here.
"My only concentration is working with the group here and if there's a possibility of strengthening in January, we'll take a look - at the right type of player."