Brendan Rodgers says that Mario cannot get back in Starting Line up

Brendan Rodgers has categorically stated that striker Mario Balotelli cannot get back into the starting line-up unless he starts working much harder. The Italian international lost his place after poor run of form that saw him go more than 15 league matches without a goal.

He was signed from AC Milan in the summer for £ 16 million, but it was reported that Liverpool were ready to cut their losses even as early as in January. Such was the poor performances of Balotelli and the recent return of Daniel Sturridge sees the 24-year-old on the periphery.

Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of seeing the big man once again, but he says that Balotelli should be prepared for life on the bench if he is not prepared to work harder. Balotelli is known for his childish attitude and inability to remain a top professional. This has already cost him a place at several top clubs like Manchester City and Inter Milan. Even though Balotelli has been able to put in some good performances in recent weeks,Rodgers reckons that he will not be able to bring back the player unless he starts to become effervescent in training.

Balotelli has been criticised for his lackadaisical attitude in the last few months. “Well, if he works harder than when he came on, he will do.We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we get the penalty he stops working.He needs to improve on that facet of his game to play in his position, rather than standing on the side of the football field. He has contributed by scoring the goal but that is what he is paid to do,” said a non-committal Rodgers, who is reportedly pondering the possibility of selling Balotelli.