Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey believes that Mario Balotelli will eventually come good.
The Italy international joined the Reds from AC Milan in the summer transfer window for a reported transfer fee of £16 million.
Although the 24-year-old started his Liverpool career encouragingly enough, he seems to have suffered a dip in form of late and is struggling for goals in the Premier League.
Doubts have been raised on Balotelli’s shooting prowess when recently a startling stat about him scoring just once in his last 20 league games came to light (click here to read more).
However, Heskey, who himself was often criticised for not scoring enough during his playing career, believes that the former Manchester City star will eventually show his worth.
‘I think he has got enough talent to really make [his reputation] irrelevant’, the ex-England international told Goal.com. ‘If you're looking at €20m for someone of his calibre, that's cheap’.
In contrast to Balotelli, Raheem Sterling is on fire. The 19-year-old winger has been the best player for Liverpool so far this season, and has been full of his usual tricks and flicks.
Sterling is likely to gain more importance as the season progresses, but Heskey has advised Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers not to play the teenager in all the games.
‘I don’t think that he should really play in all the games because come the end of the season he will be flat out’, he said.
Rodgers did leave Sterling out of his starting line-up against Aston Villa at Anfield last month, but the move backfired as the Reds lost the Premier League game 1-0.
With Liverpool having to juggle with Champions League and Premier League football, Rodgers will have to make sure that his players remain fresh and full of energy whenever they take to the pitch. That may not prove to be too easy.