John Barnes: Balotelli didn't work out for Liverpool, but he still might

Cole and Balotelli England Italy

The Anfield favourite thinks Liverpool need to strengthen their attacking department, but feels the Italian might still have something to offer.

England legend John Barnes has discussed the disappointment of Mario Balotelli's failed move to Liverpool, though unlike some other pundits, the 51-year-old revealed to the London Evening Standard that he thinks the Italian can still eventually make it as a top player.

Barnes is one of Liverpool's all time greats, having starred for the Reds in a 10 year period that saw him score 84 goals in over 300 League matches at Anfield.

And he still thinks the former AC Milan and Manchester City striker can come good on his undoubted ability, pointing to his form at the San Siro and his performance against England in the World Cup last summer as evidence that there is a player of some talent there.

However, despite stating that Balotelli isn't a lost cause, Barnes believes the club have to make signings to boost the forward ranks in order to try and get back in the Champions League places.

"He [Balotelli] still has a lot of potential, but we have to get new signings to carry us back into the top four," he told the Standard.

"He has the quality because he went to the World Cup [with Italy] and we've seen him play for AC Milan. He has to want to do well himself."

The former England midfielder did admit that the potential of new signings Divock Origi and Danny Ings meant that it wasn't necessary for the club to rely on Balotelli like they had to last season.

"The environment probably didn't suit Balotelli," Barnes said. "It was a gamble, and it didn't work."

"Origi is coming in and Ings, so it's not important whether Balotelli is going to play well or not. It's a bonus for me, then, if he stays and does well."

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