Brendan Rodgers laughed off suggestions that the focus on Liverpool is solely on Mario Balotelli when addressing the media at his weekly press conference at Melwood on Friday afternoon.
When asked by one journalist for his thoughts on local children standing on bins outside the club’s training ground to catch a glimpse of Liverpool’s new £16 million striker, Rodgers replied, “I don’t think they were just trying to get a look at Mario. We’ve got some great players here.
“It’s not the Mario Balotelli show. He’s talented, but he’s got a lot of work to do. The star of this team is simply the team.”
Looking ahead to the Reds’ Premier League clash at Tottenham on Sunday, Rodgers confirmed that he expects to have Balotelli available for selection after a good first week integrating himself into the squad and the city.
“Mario’s fine, he’s settled in very well and looked fantastic in training,” the Northern Irishman added. “Focus has been very much on his football. He’s a good lad.”
Balotelli was signed on Monday afternoon from AC Milan, but his registration was completed too late for him to face his former club Manchester City that evening.
The 24-year-old Italian international looks set to make his debut in a Liverpool shirt at White Hart Lane this weekend (Sunday, 1.30pm kick-off).
Tottenham v Liverpool last season saw the Reds run out 5-0 winners, but Rodgers played down any suggestions of complacency.
He said, “Even the 5-0 win at Spurs last season we had to work for. Our organisation was at a high level, we expect a hard game this Sunday.”
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