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Rodgers Jokes: Balotelli Will Be 'Trouble'

Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers has joked Mario Balotelli will be 'trouble' but also praised his new signing as 'world class talent'.

The Italian completed his £16 million move from AC Milan yesterday and Rodgers has defended the decision to sign him that was criticized by former player and manager, Graeme Souness.

Asked what Balotelli would bring to the club, Rodgers told Sky Sports with a smile: "Trouble.

"Look at the talent. He's at a stage in his career where this is his chance."

"I've worked with those types of players all my life in youth coaching where I've never had the finished article.

"We went three-and-a-half hours talking it through. He's at a massive club. We can help him improve his game - he's a very bright boy and he knows this is his last chance.”

"There is no doubt there is a risk with it, but it's a calculated risk.

"I have been able to assess what we have got as a team and the type of characters we have got. It is because of that environment that leads me to bring him in.

Rodgers then went on to describe his initial assessment of Balotelli character, painting a picture of the controversial Italian in a more positive light and commenting on how the atmosphere at Liverpool will help him to keep Balotelli happy.

"I've been very (impressed) by the man himself because he is very honest. He knows his flaws and he is looking for someone to help him with it," he added.

"He has already sampled how we work as a team and a club. Of course it was a risk. We are not going to say it isn't. He is a big talent.

"I'm hoping that with the environment and culture we have created at this club, that he will embrace that and he will benefit from it.”

Rodgers concluded his interview by saying that Balotelli is world-class and that he hopes the risky signing will pay off.

"He is clearly a world-class talent. It has obviously been difficult for him at other clubs, but I have read people saying this is a make or break decision for me. I have done this all my life, I've taken players that people have wrote off and they have performed well.

"With Mario, the market was very limited with what we could bring in. The business was very good for us and we will see if it works. If not, at least we have tried."

Balotelli is in line to make his first appearance for the club this Sunday when Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane to take on table-toppers, Tottenham at 14:30.

Do you think that Brendan Rodgers’ risky signing Mario Balotelli will pay off for the Merseyside team? Have your say in the comments section below.


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