Tony Gale highlights Brendan Rodgers' 'one big mistake' in transfer market

Balotelli Milan back

Sky Sports pundit Tony Gale has criticised Liverpool's signing of Mario Balotelli.

Pundit Tony Gale has told Sky Sports that Brendan Rodgers make a 'big mistake' signing striker Mario Balotelli last summer.

Liverpool's hopes of winning a trophy this season ended on Sunday afternoon after a surprise 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final.

The Reds may have taken the lead through a Philippe Coutinho goal, but Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph handed Villa a place in the final against Arsenal next month.

It's another blow for manager Brendan Rodgers, who has endured an up-and-down season this time around, having been unable to mount a title challenge like last term.

Much of that is down to Rodgers' summer signings last year. After the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Rodgers moved to bring in the likes of Javi Manquillo, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Rickie Lambert - with limited success.

Yet the biggest disappointment has been striker Mario Balotelli. The former Manchester City forward was snapped up from AC Milan as a replacement for Suarez, but with just one Premier League goal to his name this season, the Italian has been a disaster of a signing for Rodgers.

Speaking on Sky Sports, pundit Tony Gale says that Balotelli has been Rodgers' biggest mistake over the last year - both from on and off the field perspectives. 

"For me, that was the one big mistake, because not only has he not done it as a player, but when you get a bad egg in the camp, it's a nightmare," said Gale.

Many Liverpool fans will argue that defender Lovren was a worse signing than Balotelli, but the fact that so few of Rodgers' signings almost a year ago have made an impact is a huge reason why Liverpool look like missing out on the top four this season.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch