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Rodgers confident he can get the best out of Balotelli

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident he can get the best out of Mario Balotelli despite the player's colourful past.

The 24-year-old has returned to the Premier League after finalising his £16million move from AC Milan and was at the Etihad Stadium to see his former club Manchester City beat his new side 3-1.

Balotelli has had an eventful career so far, none more so than during his three years at City where he got into his fair share of scrapes on and off the field, but Rodgers does not see that as a problem.

"I've worked with those type of players all my life from when I worked in youth coaching," he told Sky Sports.

"I never had the finished article and that's how - at times - I like it.

"Most players I like to sit down and look in the eye and see the honesty and the humility that they have.

"I spent a bit of time with him, about three-and-a-half hours, just talking him through Liverpool - it's a massive club and it's a different club, it's a family club with strong family values and as I said behaviour is very important here.

"He's a very bright boy. He was very clever. He understood where he's at this stage of his career and he knows himself that this is probably his last chance.

"I look at the talent. He's a wonderful talent. There's no doubt he's at a stage in his career that this might be the last chance at a big club because he needs to settle down and show maturity.

"He's got huge potential but needs to come to Liverpool and be consistent because if he can do that we've got one hell of a player."

Former Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher believes Rodgers is taking a risk with Balotelli.

"Looking at the situation Liverpool were in, one week until the window shuts, they needed a striker and they're getting the Italian number one striker for £16million," he told Sky Sports.

"I think it is good business from Liverpool but there has got to be a worry signing Balotelli .

"There's a reason he costs £16million and has moved so often within his career already. That is a problem for Liverpool.

"If we could see the Balotelli we saw at Euro 2012 I'd say 'It's a great signing' but I don't want to see the Balotelli I saw at City in a Liverpool shirt: petulant, stupid, sendings-off, walking about.

"I played against him two or three times (and he was) doing nothing in the game and you knew if you got tight to him and put him under pressure he'd fall out again."

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Balotelli bid an emotional farewell to AC Milan as he said in a statement on their official website www.acmilan.com: "I am about to begin a new chapter but first I have to thank Milan fans that have always shown incredible loyalty and great trust in me.

"I also want to thank all the staff members that have always supported me and have always shown extraordinary patience throughout my whole stay at Milan.

"The biggest thank you goes to my team-mates, who have put up with me on and off the pitch, as only my family are able to do.

"I will always appreciate your camaraderie, I have learned so much from all of you.

"I leave Milan with sadness, but know that I will still make you all proud going forward. Forza Milan! Thank you Milan!"

Balotelli scored 30 goals in 54 games for Milan after joining the Italian giants from City in January 2013.

Balotelli, who is Liverpool's ninth reinforcement this summer, is set to make his club debut on Sunday against Tottenham at White Heart Lane.

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