The ex England winger pointed to other massive Premier League teams last season who have gotten major transfer decisions wrong, comparing the Italian's failure at the Reds with that of Manchester United and Chelsea disappointments.
"Sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn't," the Anfield hero said when discussing signings in the London Evening Standard.
"Liverpool aren't the only club who signed players who didn't work. Chelsea signed Filipe Luis at left-back - that hasn't worked - but because they won the league, no one questioned that.
"Manchester United signed Radamel Falcao and that didn't work."
It is difficult to pick the more disappointing striker out of Balotelli and Falcao.
The Colombian arrived at Old Trafford as one of the most highly rated strikers in the world, but only managed 4 goals and 5 assists in 29 games at United.
Balotelli's form was also notoriously poor, but he too scored 4 times, and in less minutes than the former Atletico Madrid striker too. Falcao could be argued to have contributed more on account of his assists, but then, he was playing in a stronger side and did arrive with a significantly bigger reputation.
Chelsea, who have been linked with signing the 29-year-old on loan next season by BBC Sport, also signed a dud according to Barnes, with La Liga winner and Champions League finalist Filipe Luis completely failing to claim the left back slot from Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Brazilian's role in the Blues squad was almost negligible, despite clocking up a decent amount of appearances, and it is rumoured that he will departing Stamford Bridge this summer - with his old side Atletico linked in recent weeks by the Standard.
But let us know what you think - is Barnes right, are these signings all as disappointing as each other, or is there one that stands out more than most?