Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Balotelli has Liverpool future - Rodgers

26 January 2015, 16:07

London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insisted Monday that controversial striker Mario Balotelli does have a future at Anfield.

Speculation over the Italy forward's career on Merseyside intensified after he was left out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Bolton Wanderers on form grounds, although the forwards selected in his place failed to find the back of the net in a goalless draw with the second division club.

Since making a 16 million ($24 million, 21 million euros) move from AC Milan in August, Balotelli has managed just two goals in 18 appearances in all competitions for the Reds.

However, Rodgers said after the Bolton match he expected Balotelli to fight for a first-team place, having previously ruled out selling him during the January transfer window.

And the Reds boss, speaking ahead of Tuesday's League Cup semi-final second leg clash away to Chelsea, said Monday: "We will give Mario every chance. We brought him in here for this season to give him every chance to show consistently that he can play at a team consistently at the top level.

"It has been a difficult period for him -- no doubt -- but he is a good boy who does want to fight for his opportunity and chance here," the Northern Irish manager added.

"I have seen some (press) clippings this morning (saying) that that is him over with -- but that's not the case at all," Rodgers stressed.

"I think (we) have shown here a number of times with players that have been out of the fold, for various reasons, that if they work hard in training, show the intensity and show the focus then they have every chance of getting back in the team -- and not only getting back in it but staying in it.

"The opportunity is there for Mario, and for every player - not just him."

If selected for Tuesday's match, Balotelli could find himself up front with fit-again forward Daniel Sturridge.

The England striker has endured months of injury frustration, having been sidelined since August, but is now back in full training and may feature against former club Chelsea in a match where the teams will kick-off with the tie all square at 1-1.

"He had his training session with the team yesterday (Sunday), he trained very well. That was as comfortable as he has looked," Rodgers said of Sturridge.

"I thought he looked back to normal. We will see how he feels today, but if he is not ready for tomorrow (Tuesday) we won't risk it.

"He has been out a long time and we need to make sure that he is ready and feels ready."

Meanwhile Rodgers dismissed talk of a move for Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, who kept the Reds at bay with a series of fine saves on Saturday, and downplayed talk of any transfer window moves ahead of Monday's deadline.

"I don't think so," he said. "I think it will end up being fairly quiet for us. Unless something dramatic happens we will be as we are."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto, not Kenneth the main man...

DP William Ruto will be the main man for the Jubilee Party in 2022, Kiraitu Murungi insists. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jittery times for DP Ruto as Kenn...

Peter Kenneth is a genuine threat to DP William Ruto's 2022 State House bid... and the DP's allies know it. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will name those sabotaging DP R...

A Jubilee Party Governor says that he will name and shame those within Jubilee he says are undermining DP William Ruto's 2022 State House plans. Read more...

ODM official acquitted of defilem...

A Nakuru ODM official on Thursday broke into tears after the court acquitted him of defilement charges leveled against him by his 15-year-old cousin. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...