Mario makes a good impression

Mario Balotelli completed his move to Liverpool from AC Milan on Monday

Mario Balotelli completed his move to Liverpool from AC Milan on Monday

First published in National Sport © by

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been impressed by the impact Mario Balotelli has made in training with the Reds but is keen to stress that no individual is a bigger star than the team.

Maverick striker Balotelli is in contention to make his debut for the Merseyside outfit in Sunday's Barclays Premier League game at Tottenham following his move from AC Milan earlier this week.

Asked about the 24-year-old at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Rodgers said: "He is fine. He has settled in very well and has looked fantastic in training.

"He is a good lad. The focus is very much on his football and he has done very well.

"He is moving to Merseyside. He is engrossing himself into the club and the people, but more importantly into his football. I look forward to seeing that development over the coming years."

When Rodgers was then asked about the excitement among Liverpool fans at the Italy international's arrival, the manager said: "This is not the Mario Balotelli show.

"He is a good player, a talented player. But he has got a lot of work to do here. We have a number of top-class players and the star of this team will always be the team."

Another major summer signing could make their Liverpool bow on Sunday, with midfielder Adam Lallana now available after recovering from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Rodgers will assess the condition of his three defenders that sustained problems during Monday's 3-1 loss at Manchester City, Alberto Moreno (ankle), Martin Skrtel (knock) and Glen Johnson (thigh), with the latter of the trio looking most likely to miss the contest at White Hart Lane.

Fellow defender Jon Flanagan is not yet ready to return as he works his way back to fitness from a knee injury, but Rodgers is optimistic he will be in action again in the coming weeks - and with a new contract.

Asked if he was looking to wrap up a new deal for Flanagan soon, the manager said: "Yes, with a bit of luck.

"He has been unfortunate with his injury record, but he is a young kid who I really, really want to be an important member of our squad.

"He deserves a new contract. He did exceptionally well last season, he is recovering well from his injury and hopefully he'll be back soon, with a new deal as well."

Rodgers also indicated that there are likely to be some departures from his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday.

"There will probably be more movement out than coming in I would say," the Northern Irishman said.

"There are offers for players to go and every player here knows their situation.

"If they are here after that deadline on Monday, then they have decided to stay, but the game-time will be very limited.

"At this moment in time, there are not many more to come in, if any."

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