Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
The Italy striker is expected to make his debut when Liverpool play Tottenham this weekend
Friday 29 August 2014
Mario Balotelli’s return to the Premier League does not mean more of his colourful and eccentric antics, according to the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers.
The striker joined Liverpool from Milan for £16m at the start of the week, and has impressed Rodgers to such an extent in training that he may be handed a starting place against Tottenham at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
Read more: Reds will need Balotelli to recover killer edge
Balotelli takes seat at the Etihad
Match report: Man City 3 Liverpool 1
Setting off fireworks in his house, throwing darts at a youth-team player and driving around the grounds of a women’s prison all feature in Balotelli’s back catalogue of bizarre incidents. But when asked if he was concerned of a repeat of the soap opera which surrounded the Italian at Manchester City Rodgers was unequivocal.
“That won’t be here,” Rodgers explained. “That won’t be here. It’s a different style. This won’t be the Mario Balotelli show for the press every week, I will tell you that now.
“Why? Different conditions at Liverpool. You have to behave yourself in a certain way. Simple. I have spoken at length to Mario since he has been here. He is definitely a mature boy. He is very, very bright.”
Rodgers has a good track record of dealing with difficult players
The 24-year-old does not have any kind of “good behaviour” clause in his contract, beyond the normal code of conduct expected of players at the club. Liverpool have also ensured Balotelli will live on Merseyside. “He is a Liverpool player. He is not in Manchester. He will be here with us,” Rodgers added.
Of his ability on the pitch Rodgers remains convinced he can fill the breach left by the departure of last season’s top scorer Luis Suarez to Barcelona. “I think Mario now feels that it is time to show the type of player he is,” he said. “Everyone knows his quality and we have seen it this week in training. We have seen the sheer power and pace and the touch that he has.
“He wants to score goals and I think he wants to do it consistently now.”
Latest in Sport
West Ham vs Arsenal match report: Sam Allardyce fumes at referee as Arsenal push on towards top four
Tottenham vs Manchester United match report: Hugo Lloris blocks Manchester United from putting pressure on Premier League title rivals
Liverpool vs Swansea preview: 'Jonjo Shelvey is lazy, he needs to wise up,' says Garry Monk
Arsenal transfer news: William Carvalho to be subject of £20m bid
West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 player ratings: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Andy Carroll? Alexis Sanchez? Who was the star man?
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk