Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has leapt to the defence of Mario Balotelli suggesting the Italian is ‘stereotyped’ by those who don’t know him.
Balotelli has a reputation as one of the more egotistical and flamboyant players in the Premier League, shutting up his critics with a goal in the League Cup game against Swansea City last night.
Rather than Balotelli’s apparent negative attitude being a problem, he’s been talked up by Sturridge, who is happy with the impact and influence he has on his own game.
“Mario is really cool and I get along with him - I enjoy working with him,” Sturridge is quoted by the Mirror.
“But everyone says similar things about him like he is wild and then he ends up getting stereotyped.”
“I think the average 24-year-old or guys who go to university who are a little younger will have done a lot crazier things than him.”
It’s been a difficult season so far for Balotelli but Sturridge’s comments help destroy the myth which has been created in the latest stories linking him with a winter exit after joining the side in a £16 million transfer from AC Milan.
He’s been criticised for refusing to applaud travelling Liverpool fans in Basel in the Champions League and also for swapping shirts with Real Madrid star Pepe while his team were 3-0 down.
However, Liverpool assistant boss Colin Pascoe recently revealed that he was doing extra training to try and end a goal drought which followed him until his strike against the Swans last night.
Two goals for the club in all competitions still isn’t a great return but it’s a step in the right direction and Sturridge is clearly determined to try and form part of an effective attacking partnership, which can hopefully create a throwback to the SAS combination of last season.