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Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans: Mario Balotelli misses Daniel Sturridge

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans backs Mario Balotelli to be a success at Anfield, but believes that he will be at his best when Daniel Sturridge returns to action.

Mario Balotelli will eventually come good and prove himself at Liverpool. That’s the opinion of former Reds manager Roy Evans.

The Italy international has been good overall for the Reds so far this season and has also opened his account for them, but he has yet to fully burst.

Signed from AC Milan for a reported transfer fee of £16 million last month, Balotelli is under pressure to perform, especially as he is widely seen as a direct replacement for Luis Suarez.

The 27-year-old Uruguay international striker was Liverpool’s best player last season, but he moved to Barcelona for a reported transfer fee of £75m in the summer transfer window.

Balotelli is not exactly expected to fill Suarez’s shoes, but he has been recruited to score goals. And former Liverpool boss Evans believes that he will do just that, once his strike-partner Daniel Sturridge returns to action from his injury layoff.

‘Balotelli has still got a fair amount to prove’, he told talkSPORT. ‘I think he probably misses the movement of Daniel Sturridge.

‘He will make more spaces for Balotelli to get into. It’s very easy to be critical in the first two or three games, it takes a while.

‘Maybe at this stage he’s started to come a little too deep, but if he gets in the box he’s got that strength and ability to stick them in the back of the net’.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’s plan was always to play Balotelli, Sturridge and Raheem Sterling in attack as the trio form a formidable force upfront.

However, the thigh injury that Sturridge picked up while on international duty with England has thrown a spanner in the works.

That said, Balotelli has the potential to turn up at crucial moments to score crucial goals. Perhaps he will do that today against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground in the Premier League.

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