Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is struggling at the club because he misses his daughter who stays in Italy, claims agent.

Mario Balotelli has not got going for the club since his summer transfer from AC Milan. The striker is yet to open his account in the league, and only has 2 goals in 14 appearances, one apiece in Champions League and League Cup.

Liverpool’s woeful form so far is not solely because of him, but the lack of goals for the Reds have been an important reason behind them not getting results. Naturally, Balotelli has received a lot of criticism.

His agent has now spoken and said that the 24 year old has is struggling at Anfield because he misses his daughter.

Balotelli has a one-year-old daughter called Pia who lives in Italy with her mother.

“It’s wrong to criticise him,” Mino Raiola told newspaper Il Corriere dello Sport.

“He needs to be given time to adapt at Liverpool. His difficult time is not connected to football, but to the fact he can’t see his daughter as much as he would like.”

Raiola dismissed speculation that Balotelli could leave Liverpool to go back to Italy.

“Balotelli will never go back to an Italian team,” he added. “I’ve already made that mistake once because I listened to him.”

There were rumors of Roberto Mancini possibly signing him for Inter Milan. The Inter boss has managed him previously at the Nerazzurri and Manchester City. However, Mancini made it clear he wouldn’t be moving for his former player.

“I think that Mario is going to stay at Liverpool,” said Mancini.

“It is a great opportunity for him. He has to do his best there. He has been lucky to get back into England playing for a big club. He has to take this chance.”

Liverpool have failed to win to register a win in their previous five games, and are 12th in the league, clearly struggling. Balotelli has been missed the previous two games as an injury during the international break ruled him out for the encounters. Fellow summer signing Rickie Lambert started in place of the Italian and scored on both the occassions. Needless to say, once Balotelli is fit to play again, he will face competition from 32 year old Lambert who looks in good touch at the moment.