Roberto Mancini believes that Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli needs to turn things around quickly or risk wasting his talent and following in the footsteps of troubled Brazilian Adriano.
The Italy international joined the Reds over the summer in a £16m move from AC Milan and was widely hailed as the man to help the club build after the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
However, ‘Balo’ is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League for the Merseysiders – albeit he has scored in the Champions League and Capital One Cup – and has been roundly criticised for his lack of work ethic and inability to slot into Brendan Rodgers’ XI.
The 24-year-old has been a divisive character through his career, with his previous spell in England with Manchester City and his time in Serie A having been blighted with off-field rumours and crazy antics.
Mancini worked with Balotelli at Inter and when at the Etihad Stadium, and the now Rossoneri coach says that he’s concerned by the forward’s lack of development and is concerned that his career may follow the path set by Adriano – who has fallen from grace thanks to a series of off-field issues:
“I have not heard from Mario since we worked together at Manchester City.” He is quoted by Goal.
“He was still a kid when we were together at Inter. He would do anything I asked him and he also behaved well at City. It has all gone downward a bit since he left City. I thought he would do well at Milan but it didn’t happen.
“Mario is at risk of following the same path as Adriano. I hope that he wakes up one morning and realises that he is wasting everything.”