Mario Balotelli says that he is “surprised” by just how good his new Liverpool team-mates are.
The controversial Italian forward joined the Reds from AC Milan over the summer in a £16m deal having won league titles in his homeland and England with Inter Milan and Manchester City respectively.
At just 24, ‘Balo’ has long been considered to be one of Europe’s top talents, with his addition seen as a coup for Liverpool – regardless of his off-field antics and reputation of being a troublemaker.
Even with Balotelli in the team, Brendan Rodgers’ side have struggled so far this season, with defeats in their opening seven games to Aston Villa and West Ham of particular concern.
Although results have not been ideal, ‘Super Mario’ says that the quality of the payers he’s now alongside has come as a bit of a shock to him:
“I didn’t really know much about the club before coming here, but I’ve been really surprised,” he is quoted by talkSPORT. “I knew they were a very good team, but I didn’t know they were as good as they are.
“Of course we need to improve many things because we have started off not very good, but I think the players here are amazing. It’s good to see young English players here too: Sterling, Henderson, Lallana. I think the more players you have like this, the better.
“Maybe over time you have got used to not seeing so many good young English players like that, but now we are seeing some – it’s good they are in my team.”
Balotelli has just one Liverpool goal to his name, which came in the Champions League against Ludogorets Razgrad, and he has vowed to open his account in the Premier League soon:
“I know I have one goal in the Champions League, but in the Premier League I have to start with one. After that, I might set myself a target, but I swear – right now my first league goal is my first and only objective.
“I need to get in the box more. I don’t do it enough, but it is something I am working to try to do more. I have never been a real, out-and-out striker – I have always been someone who goes around the pitch.”