Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli has not been able to impress at Liverpool since his move form AC Milan this summer.Reuters

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson feels Reds striker Mario Balotelli is "average at best".

The Italy international joined the Merseyside outfit from AS Roma in a £16m move this summer but has failed to impress pundits and fans, with his below par performances so far.

Balotelli is yet to open his account in the Premier League for Liverpool, even after eight matches, and has only managed two goals from 13 appearances in all competitions.

Lawrenson is of the opinion that the 24-year-old is not the right player for Liverpool, slamming the forward's attitude and lack of work rate in particular.

"There's an awful lot of fuss about Mario Balotelli but he just can't do it on a regular basis, he doesn't work hard enough. He doesn't look interested. The least you expect from your strikers when things aren't going well for them is to put a shift in but it's like Balotelli is treated as a special case. It's not the Liverpool way and I think Brendan [Rodgers] could get a bit of flak when they're losing games over his persistence with this player," Liverpool Echo quoted the Irishman.

"He's average at best and while I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that Brendan Rodgers is in danger of losing his job over this guy, sometimes you can't see the woods for the trees. You want 11 fellas out there fighting for you but he doesn't even hold the ball up. I think Liverpool are in danger of losing the dynamic of their dressing room if this continues. You get plenty of waving of arms from him in frustration but otherwise there's not much movement at all."

Meanwhile, Lawrenson, who won five league titles and a European Cup during his seven-year-stay at Anfield, also believes Liverpool have a great chance of winning a trophy this season.

The Reds are in the last eight of the Capital One Cup, and will face Championship side Bournemouth later this month, in their attempt to book a place in the semifinals of the competition.

And with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Manshetser United and Everton already out of the competition, Lawrenson urges Rodgers not to pass up this chance to win silverware this season.

"If you'd have said at the start of the season that a trip to Bournemouth stood in the way of a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final, you'd have taken it, no matter how well the Championship side are playing at present. I've said before that the Reds have gone out far too meekly in cup competitions under Brendan Rodgers," the 57-year-old pointed out.

"And while the Capital One Cup was probably a distant fourth in the manager's list of priorities, it surely must have at least gained more importance. Rodgers has yet to win silverware at Anfield and they say the first trophy is always the hardest to win. And this is now a real chance of that."

Also read