Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Liverpool vs Tottenham match preview: I'll get best out of Mario Balotelli, says Brendan Rodgers

Balotelli is 'not the star' at team-first Liverpool

As Mario Balotelli prepares for his Liverpool debut against Tottenham, Brendan Rodgers insisted his background in youth-team football means he will get more out of the striker than Roberto Mancini managed at Manchester City.

Balotelli has already asked if he can take Liverpool’s penalties – only to be reminded that Steven Gerrard has that job. Liverpool’s manager said he understood that indulging Balotelli, something Mancini was accused of, is the surest way for him to fail.

“He is not the star,” said Rodgers. “It is about the team. People ask if he will play here or there. People will play where they are asked to play.

"We had no press conference for him. We didn’t have a press conference to welcome Adam Lallana or Lazar Markovic.

"It was, ‘Get up the stairs, hold the shirt and have your photograph taken’. That’s it.

“But he has got the winning mentality, no doubt about that. When I see Blackburn holding out for £15 million for Jordan Rhodes, he is [at £16m] an absolute steal.”