Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that striker Mario Balotelli will remain with the club despite him having had an awful season up front.
Though Rodgers kept the Italian out of his squad in the Merseyside outfit’s goalless FA Cup draw against Bolton, he has insisted that the club will not be looking to sell him in the January transfer window despite reports to the contrary.
The 24-year-old, who has yet to snag a Premier League goal for his team following his £16 million move from AC Milan, has proven to be an underwhelming substitution for Luis Suarez, who made the move to Barcelona after almost carrying Liverpool to a Premier League trophy win last season. When asked about the rumours that Balotelli will be leaving the club, Rodgers said “that wasn’t the case at all”, and sung Balotelli’s praises despite his poor season.
“It’s been a difficult period for him but he’s a good boy,” the manager said. “I’ve shown in my time here that if players who have been out the fold for various reasons work hard every day in training, and show intensity and focus, then they have every chance of getting back in the side and staying there.”
Liverpool’s season has been maligned by a considerable lack of goalscorers on their side, with Suarez having departed, Balotelli out of form and Sturridge still sidelined from injuries he has sustained over the course of the season, and whilst away on international duty for England.
However, Rodgers hopes that some changes will be coming Liverpool’s way in this new year, with him saying that Sturridge is “training very, very well” and that the striker could be back in action soon, even though he won’t be fully match fit when he does.
It remains to be seen whether this is another case of a manager doing one thing and saying the other, and we’re sure that many Liverpool fans would like to see the back of Balotelli following this awful season for the club. While he’d inevitably have to be sold at a loss if Liverpool were to accept an offer from another club for him this month, if they believe that his performances with the club won’t improve, then losing money on the deal would be the least of their pconcerns.
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