Liverpool ace Alberto Moreno has hit back at critics of his teammate Mario Balotelli, suggesting that the Italian forward has been unfairly treated by those slamming his Anfield form.
The ex-Man City striker managed to find the back of the net just four times across all competitions last season and it now looks highly likely that he will be sold in the coming weeks, allowing Brendan Rodgers to concentrate on the likes of Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings.
Moreno opens up
However, Moreno believes that those judging Balotelli don’t see the full picture, and offered an insight into how the man himself is feeling about his perceived lack of form.
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“I think he’s unfairly maligned,” Moreno said, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“He’s a very relaxed guy. He never bothers anyone. He could be a great striker. He’s got the tools.
“Things haven’t gone well for him here. He’s really struggled to score goals. ‘This had never happened to me before,’ he told me.
“I wish him the best if he ends up leaving because he’s a great lad.”
Loss of form
Given that Balotelli was a hit at City - obvious troubles off the field notwithstanding - and was potent for AC Milan, Liverpool fans would have been forgiven for expecting that the 25-year-old would help to replace the goals the club lost when Luis Suarez moved to Barcelona.
For one reason or another though Balotelli’s second stint in England hasn’t been successful in the slightest, and with Rodgers now boasting other, perhaps more consistent options, it makes sense that the Northern Irishman is looking to make some money back on last summer’s failed gamble.
So far it’s clubs in Serie A who are showing the most interest in a potential deal for Balotelli. Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Lazio have all been mentioned in connection with the forward, though none of them have the financial power to make a deal without difficulty.
Of course Moreno himself is facing an uncertain future given the performances of new summer signing Joe Gomez thus far.
The ex-Charlton youngster featured ahead of the Spaniard during the Reds’ opening Premier League fixture against Stoke City, prompting speculation that Moreno may have lost his place in the starting XI.
Liverpool fans, what do you think to how Balotelli has performed at Anfield since his arrival? Is it right that he will be sold this summer? Let us know in the comments box below.