Mario Balotelli was signed by Liverpool under the management of Brenden Rodgers in 2014 for a transfer fee of £16m from AC Milan has one of the worst strike rates during his stay with the club.
Initially he was seen as a replacement for Luis Suarez, who departed to Barcelona, but the troublesome Italian failed to win any admirers at Anfield and subsequently loaned back to Milan in the beginning of this season.
Brenden Rodgers now revealed that the Liverpool board forced him to sign Balotelli even after he suggested that ‘we would never sign him’.
The Liverpool board wanted to bring a solid replacement for the flamboyant Suarez and they missed out on their main target Alexis Sanchez, which forced them to turn their focus on to the Italian striker.
The club owners believed that Rodger’s reputation of developing players could help increasing Balotelli’s price tag in the next couple of years.
But after watching him a friendly against AC Milan in America, Rodgers felt that Balotelli is not the kind of player who will fit in the set-up at Anfield.
“What we wanted and what we needed was a player who could really press at the top end of the field. It wasn’t just a goalscorer we were after. Luis Suarez was giving us so much more than that.” Said Rodgers.
“That ability to press was something we wanted to work. After the AC Milan game, I was asked a question and I felt Mario was someone who wouldn’t work for us, the profile of what we were after.”
The manager who was sacked by the Red’s owners just after eight games into the season revealed that difficulty in getting top targets made them sway in the direction of the Italian.
“But come the end of the summer, we were struggling to get someone who could do the role we wanted. I think the ownership group thought that this could be a player I could develop. He had had his issues, Mario.”
“Mario has got wonderful talent. Make no mistake about that. You see him on the training ground every day, 6ft 3ins, he is fast, he is strong and he has got a touch.”
“They board was thinking that maybe he is a £50m player that we can get for £16m. We can bring him in and we can develop him in the way I had developed some of the other players.”
“So, when the owners are wanting you to go down that route and there is no other options, then of course you give it a go.”
Mario Balotelli has scored just 1 goal in 16 appearances for Liverpool last season and at AC Milan he managed only three appearances this season.
Even without having a full confession from Rodgers, it is more than certain that Balotelli was a player Liverpool should have never signed.