Liverpool legend compares Mario Balotelli to Matt Le Tissier

Mario Balotelli Italy

Jimmy Case compared Mario Balotelli to a Premier League legend in former Southampton star Matt Le Tissier.

Liverpool legend Jimmy Case has compared striker Mario Balotelli to Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier.

Case captained Southampton when the prolific forward was coming through the ranks on the South coast, with Le Tissier eventually going on to become one of the greatest players of the Premier League era.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Case said there is one particular similarity between the Saints legend, and the Italian forward Liverpool signed for £16 million from AC Milan this summer.

He said: "I think Balotelli is a very gifted player when he wants to be – and that’s the problem. The player himself needs to realise when he has to be switched-on.

“When I was captain at ­Southampton, I played with Matt Le Tissier – he was an absolute genius, but he could also be one of the lazy ones.

“I like those players because you never know what you’re going to get. And if you don’t know what your own team-mates are going to do, the opposition have no chance of knowing."

The roles may be slightly different in their respective careers, with Le Tissier more of an attacking midfielder than an out and out striker like Balotelli - but in terms of giving a player a kick up the proverbial backside, it's something that Balotelli may well benefit from according to Case.

Le Tissier ended up becoming the first player to hit 100 goals in the Premier League era, and scored a total of 161 goals during his prolific career at The Dell - including scoring the last ever goal at the famous old ground.

Balotelli's attitude gets highlighted a lot when he is not scoring goals. So far he has only found the net once, in a Champions League game against Ludogorets, during a period where both he and the team have struggled to find their way.

There has been a lot of pressure on the Italian in the absence of Daniel Sturridge, as he tries to find his feet on Merseyside. But if he can somehow kick on after this international break, and get anywhere near the standard that Le Tissier was for Southampton, it will have been one of Brendan Rodgers' best pieces of business for the Reds.

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