How would Rodgers' Liverpool line-up if £16m striker Balotelli arrives at Anfield?

Mario Balotelli Italy

Liverpool look poised to sign AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli in a £16m deal, but how will Brendan Rodgers fit the Italian into his line-up?

The Reds have been busy this summer, snapping up a whole host of players. Javier Manquillo, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Rickie Lambert have all arrived this summer, whilst Divock Origi joined for £10m before being loaned back to previous club Lille.

The spending spree has been facilitated by the sale of star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but so far, manager Brendan Rodgers has struggled to replace the Uruguayan. A move for Loic Remy fell apart, whilst deals for the likes of Edinson Cavani and Falcao have always seemed unlikely.

It's become increasingly clear that Rodgers has been looking to sign a world-class centre forward - and now he may have got one in former Manchester City star Mario Balotelli. The controversial Italian, 24, said goodbye to his AC Milan team mates today ahead of his shock £16m move to Anfield, but how will Rodgers get him into the team?

The former Swansea boss has predominantly used two different systems during his time at Anfield, with both featuring a flack back four, a sitting midfielder in Steven Gerrard, a box-to-box midfielder in Jordan Henderson and a playmaker in Philippe Coutinho - the only difference is in the alignment of the front three.

The first system is a 4-3-3. This was prominently used last season, with Daniel Sturridge and Suarez often alternating between playing out wide and playing as the focal point in the centre. Balotelli could do the same if pressed, but fits better as the centre forward, with Raheem Sterling and Sturridge flanking him, cutting inside on their stronger foot to support the attack.

The second was essentially a 4-1-2-1-2, which featured Sterling roaming behind a front two of Sturridge and Suarez. This is where Balotelli could fit in seamlessly, playing as a centre forward alongside a more energetic striker, balancing well with Balotelli's somewhat languid style.

Balotelli may not be quite as versatile as Suarez, but he will provide Liverpool with something they would miss without the Uruguayan - a world-class goalscoring threat to partner Sturridge in attack, having seen Balotelli hit 30 goals in 80 games during his time in England. 

Will Balotelli be a success at Liverpool?

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