Sam Allardyce on facing Mario Balotelli: 'He's not a Luis Suarez'

Mario Balotelli Italy

The West Ham boss did acknowledge the threat the Italian possesses.

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has said Liverpool's new striker Mario Balotelli is not a Luis Suarez, but has acknowledged up the Italian's credentials.

Balotelli signed for the Reds from AC Milan for £16 million this summer and was viewed as a bargain by many. He scored on his third appearance for the club in the 2-1 win over Ludogorets in the Champions League this week.

Allardyce - whose West Ham side face Liverpool this weekend - is wary of the threat he possesses.

He wrote in a column for the London Evening Standard: "He showed in the Champions League this week that he can score from a half-chance and if he has managed to improve his temperament on and off the field and become a more responsible adult, then I think he could be a big player for Liverpool. He’s not a Luis Suarez, but if he can finish the season in double figures, then he will have been a success.

"Mario and others in that Liverpool squad are going to have to improve their scoring ratio to compensate for the departure of Suarez."

Allardyce appears to of the similar opinion as everybody else, yet when it comes to discussing the absence of former striker Suarez from Liverpool, there is little mention that tightening up at the back from last season can also compensate for such a loss.

A lot is expected of Balotelli. Not many strikers will have been able to find the net the way he did in midweek. It was a very well taken goal in a pressure situation that showed remarkable composure.

The West Ham boss will be hoping it isn't the start of a purple patch for Balotelli at his new club, as his side could be on the wrong end of the Italian at his best tomorrow evening. 

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