Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has revealed his main concern over Mario Balotelli’s arrival at the club.
“Look at the way Mancini used his best player, Sergio Aguero – He got tired of not being able to trust Balotelli out wide which forced Aguero into those positions,” said Carragher on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
The way Rodgers uses Balotelli will be interesting because Daniel Sturridge is perfectly suited to playing through the middle and could arguably improve on his tally from last season if given the chance to play down the centre consistently.
It seems more likely that Balotelli is going to be installed as the figurehead of the attack, which is fine if he produces the sort of performance he managed against England in Euro 2012.
However, if he underperforms through the middle, it’s clear that Carragher feels he could also be forcing key players to play in less productive positions.
The counter to the argument is that Sturridge played consistently in wider positions last season with Luis Suarez playing through the middle of the team.
However, Suarez was more willing to work the wide areas and rotate with Sturridge, which also Sturridge’s goals and assists tally because despite having a world class player beside him, he was still able to get into those pockets of space and central positions.
It would be a shame if Sturridge was confined to the left or right hand side because of Balotelli’s unwillingness to do the hard yards and rotate in positions he’s less comfortable in.
That’s where Brendan Rodgers will have to step in and ensure that the integrity of the team isn’t jeopardised and if Balotelli has improved from his time at City, the Reds have an awesome player on their hands.