Mario Balotelli could ruin Liverpool's season if he remains at the Anfield club, even if he doesn't play a single match.
The striker was left out of all of Liverpool's pre-season friendlies and wasn't named in the squad for their season opener at Stoke City. It's pretty obvious that the Italian isn't in manager Brendan Rodgers' plans this year but, with seemingly no club willing to take a chance on the 25-year-old, it looks as though Balotelli could be remaining on Merseyside for a bit longer.
Even if this is the case, it's unlikely that Rodgers will involve Balotelli with the Northern Irishman currently making him train with the youth team. However, just because it's doubtful Balotelli will be making any Premier League appearances this campaign, it doesn't mean he can't do damage to his current club.
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With Rodgers attempting to create a positive atmosphere around the club there is a danger that Balotelli could disrupt this. It was recently reported that towards the end of last season, Balotelli was involved in training ground argument with Rodgers after he decided to score an own-goal from the half-way line in a training match. This sort of attitude is why he is now training with the youth team and why Liverpool are doing everything they can to sell the unwanted flop.
This week, the Liverpool manager hinted that he wants nothing to do with the Italian anymore and just wants to concentrate on the existing players that want to play for the club.
"He [Balotelli] clearly knows his situation and where he's at," Rodgers said.
"There's nothing to add. All of the players understand where they're at.
"My job is to create the best possible environment for the team to succeed. That's what I've always done. So I'm not going to speak about Mario when I can speak about another 25 players.
"I'll always treat individuals with respect and try to make sure they understand the situation, where they're at - it's then their choice.
"If the manager and the club give a player a situation, if they really want to play, I'm sure they'll find a solution. If they don't, then at least they know where they stand."
Since signing for the Reds in August 2014, Balotelli has made 28 appearances scoring just four goals. His £16 million was seen as a gamble at the time and it's fair to say the gamble hasn't paid off.
Balotelli's toxic behaviour has the potential to spread throughout the Melwood training ground and disrupt squad morale and it's vital that they cut their losses and sell him as soon as possible.
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