The signing of Mario Balotelli over other strikers was a gamble that Liverpool are already losing, claims The Sun’s Charlie Wyett.
The Italian has endured a turbulent start to life on Merseyside following his £16million switch from AC Milan this summer, with the striker yet to score in the Premier League and, more recently, receiving an FA charge for a social media post.
And with Liverpool receiving in excess of £65million for Luis Suarez last summer, Wyett argues Liverpool should have considered other targets who would have made a more positive impact at Anfield.
"Brendan Rodgers always insisted it wasn’t a gamble to sign Balotelli but it was and it’s not paid off," he told The Sunday Supplement.
"Fabio Capello said Balotelli was the same as Antonio Cassano and that you could never ever manage him, you would never control him and he wasn’t worth it. Balotelli has just not returned what you need from someone with that baggage.
"I don’t understand why Liverpool, with the money they had, didn’t look at someone like Wilfried Bony and even Christian Benteke. You would have those two in your team over Balotelli every time."
Wyett believes Balotelli’s failure to flourish at yet another big club spells the end of his opportunity to make an impact at the highest level of the game and insists his time with football’s elite is at a premium.
"Balotelli won’t get a move to a top club now," Wyett added.
“I think he was lucky to get a club like Liverpool, who were in the Champions League, and was very fortunate.
"Now he’ll be looking at teams in the rung below, teams in England such as Newcastle or Aston Villa when they lose Benteke which looks likely next summer.
"Balotelli was very fortunate to get Liverpool and he hasn’t taken his chance.”