There are plenty of things Brendan Rodgers can claim to be as a manager: Innovative tactician? Certainly. Attack minded? Most definitely. Repetitive sound bite? Absolutely. But career reviver? Perhaps not.
One look at the Liverpool career of Italian wild-child Mario Balotelli reveals everything about the Northern Irishman’s ability to jump-start a player’s fortunes.
From the outset, when Rodgers responded to a question about what the striker would bring to the club with the word “trouble”, the former Swansea boss has barely given Balotelli the necessary love and attention the 24-year-old needs to succeed.
Four goals in 23 all-competition games from the former Manchester City man is as damning a record on the player as it his manager. So with the Reds linked with another shunned Citizen forward this summer, there can’t be too many hopeful feelings flooding Anfield.
Stevan Jovetic, like Balotelli at Liverpool, has never shown his true potential for too long at the Etihad. Injuries have played their part in the Montenegrin’s stuttered career in England, but 11 Premier League starts since a £22m move in 2013 is hardly a sound return on the club’s investment.
It seems Manuel Pellegrini is ready to cash in on his rarely-seen forward, with Liverpool reportedly willing to offer Jovetic the chance to remain in the Premier League.
However, another striker is hardly what Rodgers needs next season, with Daniel Sturridge, Balotelli and Rickie Lambert all vying for game-time at Anfield as it is.
Of course, should he decide to shuffle his striking pack, Jovetic could come in as a replacement for either of the latter two.
The former Fiorentina man is unlikely to oust Sturridge from the top-striking spot at Liverpool though, and another Balotelli situation could easily develop.
Instead, it would be far simpler for Rodgers to work on coaxing more accomplished performances out of the misfiring front man he already owns, rather than buying a new one.
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