Former Liverpool player Ryan Babel has been speaking about Reds striker Mario Balotelli.
The Italian front-man has not had the best of starts to life at Anfield, either on or off the pitch, and Babel feels he can relate having had a mixed time himself on Merseyside.
The former Holland international arrived at Liverpool with a huge reputation but failed to live up to the hype, making 146 appearances but managing just 22 goals and 18 assists in that time.
Now playing for Turkish side Kasimpasa, Babel told Talk Sport, “People think every player should be treated the same, but sometimes you have exceptional players who need a different approach to get the best out of them, and that is Mario.
“If I look at myself, people said in the past I didn’t show it (my best form) every week. I also felt I didn’t really have the optimum support to get the best out of me, so I think maybe it’s the same with Mario. But I still believe in his quality.”
Balotelli arrived at Liverpool in the summer in a £16million deal hailed at the time as a canny piece of business by Brendan Rodgers. But 14 appearances later the 24-year-old has scored only two goals and appears to be struggling under the weight of expectation as Liverpool attempt to improve their stuttering form.