Mario Balotelli’s time at #Liverpool may be drawing to a close after just one season in England, as he’s been left out of the Reds squad for their pre-season friendly in Finland against HJK Helsinki according to Sky Sports. The Italian striker joined Liverpool during the transfer window last summer and was expected by many to fill the void left by the then recently departed Luis Suarez, however in the 2014-15 season Balotelli only managed to contribute one goal from 10 appearances in comparison to Suarez’s brilliant 2013-14 season where he scored 31 goals in 33 appearances. The striker had a rough first season in England, playing in a formation that he admitted didn’t suit him and it seems that Liverpool are ready to move on without him.

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Balotelli was also left off Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Asia and instead remained in England continuing his training sessions at Melwood, along with fellow outcasts Fabio Borini and Jose Enrique. Balotelli has been linked with a number of clubs in Italy including, Bologna, Fiorentina, Lazio and Sampdoria however, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that it is Balotelli’s choice as to whether he stays at Liverpool or leaves to find first team #Football elsewhere.

Rodgers stated that Balotelli was a ‘calculated risk’ when the striker was signed to Liverpool and it seems that this risk didn’t pay off. For much of last season Rodgers relied on Balotelli to get goals for the Reds when Daniel Sturridge was absent as they attempted to launch another assault on the Champions League spots and the #Premier League title; he was seen as a superior option to Rickie Lambert who was unable to make the step up required to be the starting striker at the club and Fabio Borini, whose career has come to a complete standstill at Liverpool.

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Due to the lack of goals Rodgers eventually opted for Raheem Sterling as the starting striker and he managed to contribute seven goals despite that not being his position.

Liverpool has made a number of upgrades in the strikers department, signing Christian Benteke from Aston Villa and Danny Ings from Burnley. Balotelli will also have to face competition for a place in the team from Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Jerome Sinclair who Rodgers has said he’ll give playing time in cup competitions.

Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has stated that Balotelli has no intention of leaving the club this summer and Balotelli himself is yet to weigh in on the situation.

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