Mario Balotelli is the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez - Gianfranco Zola

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Former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola believes that fellow Italian Mario Balotelli will be a huge success at Liverpool and he can replace Luis Suarez.

Suarez left Anfield this summer, moving to Barcelona for a fee of £75 million. After a transfer window of desperately trying to replace the Uruguayan goal-machine, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers opted for Balotelli after Loic Remy failed a medical.

Although many have doubted the 24-year-old's potential to succeed on Merseyside, mainly due to his attitude, the former West Ham United thinks that 'Super Mario' can very much fill the boots of Suarez and write himself into Anfield history.

Speaking to Talksport radio, he said: "The move is perfect because Liverpool lost Luis Suarez and they needed to replace him with someone as good him.

"Mario Balotelli is technically an excellent player. He knows how to score goals and he knows to play with the rest of his team.

"The only doubts you have with Mario is whether he will be accepted by his team-mates and that’s the question mark all of us will have. If he improves his attitude he can be the perfect player for Liverpool. I saw the game he played against Spurs and not only was his performance good, so was his attitude."

Good start 

Balotelli made his debut for Liverpool during their 3-0 away victory over Tottenham Hotspur and began life in a Red jersey in a positive manner.

He looked to be playing with confidence, holding the ball up and showed excellent vision and link up play with fellow forward men Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

The former Inter Milan striker also had several attempts on goal, including a header in the early stages that was saved by Hugo Lloris. Although he failed to find the net, Reds fans can only take the positives - he was in the correct positions to create the chances and he is still rusty after not playing a lot during the summer.

Once he gains more first-team football and settles in on Merseyside, we will likely see those chances be buried.

Risky buy

However, as every football fans knows, Balotelli is very much a risky player to take on board. He has a a bad-boy attitude and has run into trouble throughout his career - from training ground scuffles with his Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, setting fireworks off in his own bathroom to stamping on Scott Parker's head.

Brendan Rodgers, when interviewed on what the Italian brings to his side answered 'trouble.' The Northern Irishman knows the reputation that comes with Balotelli, however sees more of the reward by signing him than the risks.

Already, only a few weeks into his Liverpool career when playing in a closed doors friendly at Melwood against Wolves the rumours spread about him kicking an opposing player in the head.

Liverpool are pushing to challenge for the Premier League title this season and they cannot afford to have Balotelli missing through suspension - he is a vital member of the squad and must remain both available and in the right mindset if he is to aid his club to success.

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