Jamie Redknapp has made his opinion of Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli abundantly clear: he does not rate him highly.
Balotelli is a polarising figure who tends to divide opinion, and it appears that he is not in the good books of former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Redknapp.
Looking ahead to the Reds’ Champions League Group B clash against Real Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday, the 41-year-old former England international told The Daily Mail: 'I’ve never really taken to him — he acts like a genius but he doesn’t play like one — but I would probably still start him.
‘I can’t see Sterling working as a central striker and though Rickie Lambert would work his socks of, he’s not match-fit. Balotelli has to pray he turns it on, otherwise it could be the end of his relationship with the fans. They won’t tolerate much more’.
Balotelli has been struggling at Liverpool for the past few weeks and has yet to break his duck in the Premier League for the Reds. The Italy international striker’s overall game has also been disappointing, although he has found the target in the Champions League.
If Balotelli is handed a start against 10-time European champions Madrid on Wednesday, then he will have to step up.