Liverpool newbie hasn’t proven to be ‘worthy’ yet, says skipper

Steven Gerrard has called on Mario Balotelli to prove that he is “worthy” of being a Liverpool player.

The Italy international signed for the Reds from AC Milan over the summer as Brendan Rodgers set about replacing 31-goal striker Luis Suarez.

Although dubbed one of Europe’s most talented young forwards, the 24-year-old has endured a tough start to life in England and has netted just two goals – neither of which have been in Premier League action.

WANT MORE? >> Liverpool transfer news | Latest transfer news

There has already been talk that the Merseysiders are considering cutting their losses in January, but Gerrard says that he’s not judging Balotelli just yet, although he says he needs to prove himself soon:

“He needs time to score the goals and prove to be people he is worthy of staying here,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I am not going judge him after 10 games. I have to help and support him.

“To come in after Suarez is tough. A big ask. But Mario has the ability to turn it around.”

‘Balo’ has made 12 outings for Liverpool so far, and has been heavily relied upon in the absence of injured forward Daniel Sturridge.