Former Reds goalkeeper Brad Jones has revealed that Mario Balotelli refused to contribute to defensive work during Liverpool training sessions.
Back in the summer of 2014, the club signed the striker from AC Milan for a transfer fee of £18 million to replace Luis Suarez.
However, Balotelli only lasted two years at Anfield. The 31-year-old failed to have an impact as a Liverpool player.
Balotelli only scored four goals in 28 appearances for the club's first-team.
Going by Jones' comments, it is not hard to see why the forward struggled at Liverpool.
“I probably was (in goal for the own goals Balotelli deliberately scored in training) for one or two, yeah. I remember he was going to play and we were doing set-pieces,” the Australian told the Liverpool Echo.
“Brendan told him, ‘Mario, you’re going to stand here at the front post.’ Mario said, ‘No, no, no! I’m no good at that.’ Brendan was like, ‘You’re 6ft 2, you’re good at heading!’ He’s like, ‘No, no, no! I don’t like being here!’ He just didn’t want to do it, he didn’t want the responsibility.
“Brendan said, ‘Well you’re going to do it!’ So the first corner comes in, he ducks. The second corner comes in and he’s like ‘Eurgh’. And then I’m pretty sure either the third or fourth ended up being an own goal.
“It was like, ‘Okay Mario, go stand back up there. Go get away from our goal please!’”
Anfield Watch Verdict
Jones' comments highlight that Balotelli just wasn't committed during his time at Liverpool. It is impossible to make it at a big club if you aren't prepared to put in the hard yards.
But, there is no denying that Liverpool have certainly moved on from Balotelli.