One Liverpool player Balotelli may owe an apology, another he will love

Mario Balotelli Italy

Martin Skrtel will remember Mario Balotelli well.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Italian maverick Mario Balotelli, and bring back a character the Premier League has sorely missed.

The former Manchester City striker knows Liverpool well from his time in England's top flight, but has never scored a goal past them.

He did make an impact however, causing a row between managers at the time Kenny Dalglish and Roberto Mancini.

  TeamGoalsAssistTotal Scoring AttYellow CardRed CardFoulsAppearances
Mario Balotelli Manchester City 0 0 1 0 1 5 2

In the two matches Balotelli played against Liverpool, he managed just one shot on goal, committing five fouls - and received one red card.

This came in a match in 2011 at Anfield, in which he was sent off for an elbow on Martin Skrtel, the aftermath of which was pictured above.

Skrtel was accused of exaggerating a challenge by Roberto Mancini, before Kenny Dalglish hit back and suggested the striker was entirely responsible for his own action.

He said: "Balotelli got himself sent off. His own reaction spoke louder than anyone else's. Sometimes he doesn't help himself. Other times he maybe doesn't get as much leeway as somebody else.

"But if you help yourself, you don't get yourself in that position in the first place. I don't think anyone was influencing the referee."

The Italian may owe Martin Skrtel an apology although it's entirely possible the striker does not even remember or place any importance on it.

What's clear is that Brendan Rodgers will have a tough man-management job on his hands with the controversial forward, but having helped Luis Suarez excel last season, there's a strong possibility he will fancy his chances.

There may be one Liverpool player with who Balotelli gets on famously. During their pre-season friendly in America, in which the striker again failed to score, he was snapped sharing a joke with Reds defender Mamadou Sakho.

It's enough to suggest that he won't be walking into a dressing room of past foes, but will find some friendly faces among them too - with the squad no doubt keen to harness the best abilities he has to offer.

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