So why was he signed in the summer, then?
Manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted that his team has found its aggressive, pressing style again, but has admitted that it doesn’t suit Mario Balotelli’s game, reports the Mirror.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Burnley, Rodgers lauded the team’s performances against Bournemouth and Arsenal in our past two fixtures…
“We’re at our best when our game is aggressive. We’ve had to adapt this year,” he began.
“That real aggressive pressure gives us the platform to dominate the ball so it’s been a lot of work.
“We haven’t just stumbled across this system, a lot of thinking time and hours have gone in on how we can maximise it.
“In the last three games it’s been much closer, we have to work very hard, players are adapting to the club and performances will get better and better.”
Rodgers is 100% right, and our best performances are based on pace, pressing and counter-attacking football. We maximised this style to such an extent last season, we almost won the title.
But strangely, Rodgers has told the press that his £16m summer signing Balotelli struggles to play this way…
“We’ve seen it [pressing] isn’t really his game,” he said.
“Working with Mario we see someone who is better in and around the box so that level of intensity and pressing isn’t part of his game.
“You try to get the best out of the players you have and the quality you have.”
The comments are probably true, but seem odd in that in some respects, they seem to hang the already struggling Italian out to dry.
Balotelli is ready to play against Burnley, but these comments indicate that he’s likely to stay on the bench for the crunch Premier League fixture, with Raheem Sterling continuing up top.
Should Rodgers really be making comments like this, which are bound to affect his forward…?