Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has come under strong criticisms in recent weeks.
The Italy international joined the Merseyside outfit from AC Milan in the summer transfer window for a reported fee of £16 million.
The 24-year-old started his Liverpool career encouragingly enough, but he has fizzled out in recent weeks.
The former Manchester City star has yet to score in the league after five appearances and has created just three chances for his teammates. Balotelli also has an average pass accuracy of 74% and a poor shot accuracy of 44%.
However, Balotelli’s Italian compatriot Fabio Borini believes that the former Inter Milan star remains a key player for Liverpool.
‘I have played with him before and found it really well on the pitch’, he told Liverpool’s official website. ‘Not just because of the language but we were born with the same idea of football, as Italians, so it's really easy to understand each other even without talking.
‘He's a player that can change the game whenever he wants. It's a tough league, probably the toughest in Europe - and I think he understands that. In the games, he runs a lot and is really giving himself to the team, being very unselfish’.
Borini himself has struggled for playing time this season and is pretty much the fourth-choice striker for manager Brendan Rodgers.
With Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert ahead of him in the pecking order, the 23-year-old Italy international has made just two Premier League appearances so far this campaign.
There are suggestions that Borini could leave Liverpool for good in January, and one wouldn’t be surprised if that were to happen.