Former Liverpool chief Roy Evans is concerned that Mario Balotelli’s playing style may be having a negative impact on his team-mates.
The Reds swooped to land the enigmatic Italian in a £16m deal towards the end of the last transfer window as Brendan Rodgers looked to boost his attacking options after the sale of Luis Suarez.
Balotelli arrived with a reputation for his divisive nature off of the pitch and a perceived lack of effort on it, with many questioning the decision to bring him to Anfield.
After six games in the red shirt, the 24-year-old has just one goal to his name – which came against Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets Razgrad – and has been a key member of the Merseysiders’ underperforming first-team.
Now Evans has told talkSPORT that Balotelli’s languid style may be rubbing off on his team-mates:
“He has a way about him on the pitch that doesn’t exactly endear himself to everybody.” he said.
“Suarez was the opposite. He could light the game up and he could bring everybody along with him and they would put the same effort in as Suarez did.
“His [Balotelli’s] style of play and the way he lumbers though a game, maybe that is catching.”
Evans went on to say that Liverpool – who have seven points from their opening six Premier League fixtures – must buck up quickly to make this season a success:
“It is not just about last night’s game. It has been the same for more or less all season, except maybe for the Tottenham game and the Everton game at the weekend,
“They have got to improve somewhere or it is going to be a poor season for them.”
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