Liverpool hero John Aldridge believes that Mario Balotelli has all of the tools and the personality to become a Kop idol.

The Italian striker – dubbed ‘Mad Mario’ for his crazy antics both on and off of the pitch – completed a £16m move to Merseyside earlier this week from AC Milan, creating quite a buzz among his new supporters.

With Luis Suarez having been sold to Barcelona in a club record £75m deal, the Reds have lost their talisman from last season’s impressive run, leaving a bit of a hole in their frontline.

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Although Daniel Sturridge – the league’s second top scorer behind his former Uruguayan team-mate – is still around, much has been made of the impact ‘Balo’ will have at Liverpool.

Aldridge, who starred up front for the club during his playing days, believes that the 24-year-old will link well with his new strike partner, and that he has the potential to be an idol among the supporters:

“He provides another option and we’ve got a lot of games this season, so Brendan has plenty of options now,” he told the club’s official website.

“The manager will have a plan. It could be Balotelli going through the middle with Daniel playing off him or out wide, as he did to great effect last season.

“He could be phenomenal and he’s the type of player who will be endearing to the fans. He could be iconic.”