Balotelli has a Liverpool future – Rodgers
Mario Balotelli still has a future at Liverpool, manager Brendan Rodgers has declared.
Balotelli moved to Anfield in a £16million move from AC Milan in the summer, but he has struggled to make an impact and is without a goal in the Premier League.
He was a notable absentee from the Liverpool team for Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Bolton in the FA Cup, with Rodgers later admitted he had been overlooked following below-par performances in training.
His latest omission has cast further doubt over his future at Anfield, but Rodgers insists he can still be a success if he is prepared to put in the work.
“It’s been a difficult period for Mario but he wants to fight for an opportunity here. The opportunity is there,” Rodgers told reporters ahead of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea.
“He understands where it is at. He knows what is required to get in the squad – the pressing and aggression – and if you can’t do that you are not going to be part of the team. We suffered in the first four months of the season and we can’t go back to that.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge is closing in on a return to first-team action.
Sturridge has missed the majority of the season through injury but he is back in full training and could make his return at Stamford Bridge.
“We will see how he is today. He trained very well on Sunday. We need to make sure he feels ready,” Rodgers added.
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