Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says that Mario Balotelli is relishing the opportunity to be the first choice at the club due to the absence of Daniel Sturridge. The England international is currently undergoing recovery after suffering an injury during the international weekend. After the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer, Sturridge has become the key player at the club. Balotelli has just been signed from AC Milan for £ 16 million, but the 24-year-old has far had poor outings in the two matches he has played for his new team.
Rodgers says that he is expecting Balotelli’s performances to improve massively in the coming weeks, as he starts to understand the ethics and style of the team. He also says that Balotelli is keen on establishing himself as the first choice at Liverpool. The injury to Sturridge gives him a great opportunity to do so and the 24-year-old is aware of this fact. Balotelli has not scored in the last six matches for club and this takes into account his spell at AC Milan. In the first six months at the Italian club, Balotelli was a major player. Last season, however, he averaged just around one goal every other game.
Balotelli’s experience in the Champions League will also be a major boost according to Rodgers, who will take charge of his first European match against Ludogorets. “Time will tell. The boy is only just in the door. The best players enjoy that responsibility and I am sure it is one he is relishing but on the training field he is going to work hard to accept that responsibility knowing he has been brought in here to do a job which is to create and score goals and work hard. He was unfortunate he was ill last week,” said the Liverpool manager.