Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that Mario Balotelli has what it takes to emulate Luis Suarez and become a world-class striker at Anfield.
After joining the Reds for £16m from Italian side AC Milan in the summer, the Italian international has made a quiet start on his return to the Premier League, scoring one goal in four appearances, and although Rodgers does not believe that Balotelli belongs in the world-class category yet, he is convinced that the temperamental forward can achieve the same success that Suarez enjoyed at the club.
“Suarez elevated himself, that was clear,” he is quoted by Goal. “He wasn’t world-class when he came in but when he left to go to Barcelona he had put himself in that bracket.
“He did that because of his consistency in scoring goals and keeping his performance level high. World-class is about being at the highest level consistently, being at that level in your game consistently. That’s what takes you there.
“I think Mario is potentially world-class. You can’t compare Suarez and him, but Mario is coming in as an international striker and he’s a talent, no doubt.”
In spite of the Northern Irishman’s confidence in his new centre forward, he was also quick to add that it is the responsibility of Balotelli to step up to the mark and prove his worth at Liverpool, with consistency being the key.
“Luis was brilliant for me in his time here and developed to become a player who consistently delivered in terms of scoring and creating.” said Rodgers.
“Mario is different. He’s got a lot of experience for 24, he has come here as an established international, so for him it is about being quality consistently. That is what can elevate him to that level.”
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