Would Italy striker get into starting XI ahead of a fit and firing Daniel Sturridge?
Thursday 21 August 2014 10:56, UK
Jamie Carragher is not convinced Mario Balotelli would get into the Liverpool starting XI ahead of Daniel Sturridge.
The AC Milan forward was reportedly in talks over a move to Anfield on Thrusday as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his striking options following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
The former Manchester City striker scored 17 goals for AC Milan last season and played in all three of Italy’s World Cup matches, and while former Liverpool defender Carragher says he would be a good addition to the squad, he questioned whether he would get into the current team.
Would he make the starting XI if everyone was fit and firing? Who knows? At the moment Daniel Sturridge is the main man up front.
“They definitely need a striker, there’s no doubt about that,” he told skysports.com.
“At the moment they only have Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert - it looks like Fabio Borini is going to move on - and you need strikers.
“Would he be the final piece of the jigsaw? Would he make the starting XI if everyone was fit and firing? Who knows?
“At the moment Daniel Sturridge has got 36 goals in 50 games for Liverpool and at this moment he is the main man up front.
“Would Brendan then accommodate another striker, whoever that may be, like he did with Luis Suarez?
“He has lots of options now, Brendan Rodgers, and I don’t think he will play the same team too often so they do need those options.”
Balotelli often made the headlines for his actions off the pitch during a previous spell in the Premier League with Manchester City and he returned to his native Italy with AC Milan in January 2013 saying he was fed up with life in England.
Carragher says he needs to prove his talent on the pitch if he returns to the Premier League – and backed Rodgers to get the best out of him, pointing to how the Liverpool boss improved the performances of Suarez in the last two seasons.
“Brendan has had plenty of practice with Luis I suppose,” he added.
“The main thing for any player is what they do on the pitch. Both of those players had issues off the pitch, but I think it’s fair to say Suarez did a lot more on the pitch.
“You will always get a little bit more freedom if you’re producing on the pitch, that’s the main thing for any player.
“Balotelli is a player who has been here before and did a lot of stuff that was good for us in the media. He probably didn’t quite show his potential at Manchester City and that, coupled with his off-the-field problems, probably saw him depart.
“He’s the Italian number one striker and you want to see good players here. Liverpool do need a striker.”
Liverpool play Manchester City on Monday Night Football from 7pm on Sky Sports 1