Brendan Rodgers angered by Balotelli’s shirt swap with Pepe and alludes to a lack of work ethic from the Italian
Many people claimed Liverpool had landed the bargain of the transfer window when signing Mario Balotelli for £16 million, with the former Manchester City player scoring a fine goal against Ludogorets on the club’s return to the Champions League.
However, Balotelli hasn’t covered himself in glory and has still failed to get on the scoresheet in the Premier League, with the forward making headlines for the wrong reason on Wednesday morning.
Balotelli was seen swapping shirts with Pepe shortly after the half-time whistle had been blown, with the Liverpool boss replacing the forward with Adam Lallana in the second-half.
“We will deal with it,” Rodgers said. “We had an incident with a player last year and we did it internally. It is not something I stand for. If you want to do that, you do it at the end of the game. It is something I will deal with tomorrow.
“It was purely tactical,” he said about the substitution. “Adam Lallana came on and he was tireless. That’s the minimum requirement here. You need to press and you need to work. I felt we needed a bit more movement centrally to occupy the centre halves.”
Jamie Carragher admitted he would be surprised to see Balotelli remain a Liverpool player after this poor start at the Merseyside club.
“I’d be surprised to see him here next season. It was just a panic; they needed someone. They left it too late. A lot of the players have come in and done a decent job here and there, but nobody’s really done anything. They bring in Balotelli late on – it’s obviously a panic.”