Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has labelled Mario Balotelli as a waste of space, claiming he should be nowhere near the first team.
Balotelli was a controversial summer addition for Brendan Rodgers, costing Liverpool £16 million to sign from AC Milan but has so far failed to impress. The Italian has scored just one Premier League goal all season and couldn't make the difference against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Rodgers brought him on with half an hour remaining, but he could not make the desired impact. The game finished 0-0 and Lawrenson singled Balotelli out for criticism.
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"Forget about Mario Balotelli. He is an absolute waste of time"
"Forget about Mario Balotelli. He is an absolute waste of time. He shouldn't be anywhere near this team," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I can see why Brendan Rodgers threw him on [against Blackburn] as he might just create something but, 99 times out of 100, he will let you down."
Lawrenson has earned a reputation as English football's most miserable pundit, but he has certainly earned his right to have a say on Liverpool's misfortunes. The former defender won five league titles at Anfield and a European Cup during a seven-year on Merseyside.
Balotelli's career trajectory is nowhere near that of Lawrenson's. Wherever he goes he seems to cause trouble and there is a feeling his time at Liverpool is already coming to a close. There is no way they will reclaim their £16 million outlay if he is sold in the summer, but Rodgers may get rid of him nonetheless.
Bad form, bad attitude
The 24-year-old got away with his misdemeanours at Manchester City for so long because from time to time he would do something spectacular. His exceptional talent has excused his poor attitude up until now, but it now appears his time at the top is coming to an end.
His lack of work ethic on the football pitch is inexcusable if he is not scoring goals. It goes against everything that Rodgers has worked towards with this Liverpool team. He should be sold in the summer, even if it's for £5 million.
Is Balotelli's time at Anfield over or has he still got time to prove his worth? Give us your views in the comments box below!
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