Liverpool FC defender Alberto Moreno has told Spanish publication Marca that team-mate Mario Balotelli has been “unfairly maligned” and that the Italian still has the ability to become a “great striker.”

Mario Balotelli was signed by Liverpool FC from AC Milan in a 16 million GBP deal in the summer of 2014. The deal was described by the club as a a calculated riska .

However, the risk seems to have backfired badly with Balotelli hardly featuring for Liverpool FC last season and looking like a fish out of water when played.

Fortunately, the player has generally kept himself away from trouble – something that has always been a worry to his employers.

Moreno backs Balotelli to succeed

Liverpool FC defender Alberto Moreno feels the former Manchester City and AC Milan striker remains capable of delivering on the potential he showed earlier in his career, despite being a shadow of the player he used to be.

Moreno was quoted as saying by Marca: “I think he’s unfairly maligned. He’s a very relaxed guy — he never bothers anyone. He could be a great striker, he’s got the tools.

“Things haven’t gone well for him here. He’s really struggled to score goals. ‘This had never happened to me before,’ he told me. I wish him the best if he ends up leaving because he’s a great lad.”

What does the future hold for Balotelli?

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Balotelli is certain to leave Anfield after being frozen out as per team-mate Jose Enrique. The player is expected to move back to Italy with Sampdoria among the clubs interested in his services.

Balotelli – who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday – has shown no inclination to redeem himself and become serious about realizing his phenomenal talents. Reports have emerged as to how the player made no effort to integrate into the Liverpool FC squad and disrupted training sessions on occasion, despite being at his best behaviour in years.

It does seem that it will be another case of wasted talented, as Super Mario does not look like mending his ways any time soon. What a shame.