Mario Balotelli has not had the best of starts possible to his career at Liverpool. Across the seven games he has been featured in in the league the Italian has failed to score, causing frustrating fans, pundits and even his own manager.
These lacklustre displays, along with his shirt swapping incident in the Champions League, has led to some asking for the 24-year-old to be removed removed from Merseyside altogether and replaced with someone else.
Here are FIVE possible players that could replace Balotelli…
Gonzalo Higuain has been tipped as one player that could replace Balotelli at Liverpool. The Argentine has scored three goals and provided two assists from eight appearances in Serie A this season for his club Napoli. These three goals have only come in Napoli’s last game in the league against Verona, so you could say he’s having a just as bad season as Balotelli. Many rumours have linked the 26 year old with a move to Merseyside but these have been dismissed by his brother, Columbus Crew’s Federico Higuain.
Wilfried Bony was linked with a move to Liverpool last summer, and with the form of Balotelli, he is already being linked again. So far this season in the Premier League for Swansea he has scored four goals and provided one assist from nine appearances – all four of his goals have come in his last five appearances. The Ivorian still has two years left on his contract at the Welsh side, so Liverpool would have to part with more than his transfer market value of just over £14m to acquire him.
Divock Origi was purchased by Liverpool over the summer from Lille for £10m, but he was immediately loaned back to France for the 2014/15 season. His loan could be terminated early if Balotelli continues his goal drought, however the French club have played down such a possibility. The Belgian has scored three goals and provided one assist from nine appearances in Ligue 1 this season. His shots per game may be a tad concerning though as he has an average of 1.6.
The Englishman has been fantastic at West Brom so far, and has been one of this season’s breakthrough stars. From nine Premier League appearances he has scored seven goals, six of them coming from his last six appearances. The 21 year old is also being watched by many other clubs, so the Baggies will be asking for a high transfer fee for his services.
Jay Rodriguez is yet to make an appearance for high flyers Southampton this season due to a cruciate ligament rupture in his knee, which he picked up in April against Manchester City. The Englishman isn’t expected to return to action until the end of November.
Due to how well Southampton are currently playing, there may not be a place for the 25 year old in the starting XI when he returns, meaning a possible exit from The Saints could be on the horizon. Before he got injured last season, he scored 15 goals from 33 league games, five of those goals coming from his last five matches.