Rickie Lambert has explained what a pain Mario Balotelli was in training during his short stint at Liverpool.
The pair signed during the same summer of 2014, when Luis Suarez departed to Barcelona, and it would be fair to say the strikers didn’t quite fill the Uruguayan’s gap…
Lambert left after one year and two Premier League goals, while the Italian got one less than that – causing Brendan Rodgers, then manager – no end of problems in the process for his behaviour.
“He was a good lad, childish but infectious,” Lambert told Eurosport.
“But as soon as he stepped on the training pitch he became a different person.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, to be honest. At first, he gave everything when he played. But in training, I could tell he wasn’t giving his all. He was answering Brendan [Rodgers] back and my head went with that.
“HIS HEAD WOULD JUST GO. IF IT WASN’T GOING HIS WAY, HE WOULD JUST RUIN THE SESSION BASICALLY. HE’D KICK THE BALL AWAY, SCORE AN OWN GOAL. I WAS SPEAKING TO JOE HART AND THE LADS AT ENGLAND AND THEY WERE LIKE ‘HE WAS LIKE THAT AT CITY’. I’D ASK THEM ‘HOW DID HE GET AWAY WITH IT?’. THEY JUST SHOOK THEIR HEADS.”
Jurgen Klopp made sure to allow Balotelli’s exit at the first possible opportunity, and it’s crazy to think he wanted him gone so badly, we gave him to Nice for free just two years after paying £16m for his signature!
Nowadays, the club would never sanction a deal for a Balotelli type. We care as much about the person arriving as the player – and it’s this strategy that has helped form a brilliant squad jam-packed full off selfless winners.
This summer, we’ll need some more ace additions if we’re to close the gap on Manchester City, whose strength in depth is simply insane.