Mino Raiola has attempted to justify the tough start Balotelli has had at Liverpool.
Mario Balotelli’s agent has admitted that his client has been disappointed by the start to his Liverpool career, but would see him ‘die’ before allowing him to quit Anfield.
Balotelli’s £16 million move from AC Milan has been seen as almost a disaster with the Italian struggling for form, fitness and, most importantly, goals since his summer transfer.
At times the forward has cut an uncaring, unemotional and unhappy man, but his agent Mino Raiola has sought to clarify that the striker is “very disappointed” with how his time at Anfield has transpired so far.
“I’ve seen him quiet, changed, different than Milan. Very disappointed with himself, too. He’s going through a bad time like he never had,” Raiola was quoted by Goal.
“In Liverpool he hasn’t his spaces: if you don’t make things as they want, you stay out. Then he was broken for eight weeks, he lost the rhythm.”
Raiola also confirmed that the plan is for the Italy international to remain with the Reds and try and work his way into Brendan Rodgers’ side, rather than look for an easy escape route after a tough start.
“The plan is to continue at Anfield. I saw him Monday and told him: ‘You have a 4 year contract and I won’t bring you away. Or you leave Liverpool at 60-70 million, and I won my bet, or you’ll die there’,” he continued.
“It’s the first time I make a speech like that to a player.”
Whilst he’s clearly struggled to adapt his game to Liverpool’s style Balotelli has hardly helped himself by living up to his reputation as a nuisance off the pitch and even received a ban for an ill-fated Instagram post that was accused of being anti-semitic.
Raiola, however, says his client is actually a victim of an injustice.
“Of all the players I knew I’ve never met one forced to face the injustices suffered by Mario,” he concluded.
“People do not know him, the truth is that Mario is an insecure boy, and due to his insecurity maybe he does stupid things.
“AC Milan needed a leader. Give the ball to Mario, he scores a goal, everyone is happy. But he is not a leader, and it is also wrong to ask him to be a leder. There are very strong players who have no leadership, others less strong but which have leadership.”