Since the loss of Luis Suárez, the pressure to score goals for the Reds has been placed on the Liverpool strikers, namely Daniel Sturridge. But with the Reds signing of Mario Balotelli much of the pressure will be shared between Sturridge and Balotelli. In Balotelli’s last season (2013/14) with AC Milan he registered 18 goals in 41 competitive matches.
Although his stats may not be as impressive as Luis Suarez’s, Balotelli, on his day, can pick a team apart all by himself. Balotelli’s style will also suit Brendan Rodgers style of play, being a fast and strong player he will add more variation to Liverpool and provide more of a target man for the Reds.
Another major reason for the signing of the Italian is his Champions League experience. With Liverpool playing in the Champions League this season, the Red’s need some players with Champions League experience and Balotelli has just that, winning the trophy in 2010 with Inter Milan.
There has been some concern over the signing of Mario Balotelli considering his past off-field and on-field antics, including the training bust up with former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. But Rodgers has remained a fan of the Italian and addressed the media in the post-match interview;
There’s excitement about him coming in, as a coach, I’m really looking forward to working with him. One thing he doesn’t lack is confidence; he’s got that self-belief and football arrogance when he’s on the field. All of the big teams and best teams have that. Hopefully he can contribute to what we are doing. We know he is a football talent and he knows that he is very much part of a team
If Balotelli is to be a part of the starting XI at Liverpool, Rodgers will have to change his formation to suit his newest recruit. After playing a 4-2-3-1 formation against Manchester City, Rodgers should adopt a 4-2-2-2 formation and pair Daniel Sturridge with new strike partner Mario Balotelli. The 4-2-2-2 formation will also suit the Red’s style of play by keeping the width in attack and two defensive midfielders.
Rodgers has taken a big risk in signing the controversial Italian, but if Balotelli is able to perform on the field and relieve the pressure from Daniel Sturridge, he will be a huge success at Liverpool.