Mario Balotelli

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended striker Mario Balotelli after the Italian got embroiled in his first controversy following his arrival at Anfield this summer.

It has not even been a month since his return to the Premier League, but the former Manchester City striker has made the headlines for the wrong reasons once again.

The Italian international is now caught up in a race storm following his tweet mocking Manchester United after their 5-3 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.

"Man Utd... LOL" Balotelli tweeted. This tweet caused a major outrage amongst the United fans, who did not hold back and replied with a barrage of abuse, including racial taunts, which are now being investigated by the police.

Balotelli has been involved in many altercations during his previous stint in England and it seems like nothing much has changed, when it comes to his penchant for making headlines for off-field incidents.

However, Rodgers has defended the Reds striker and admitted that every player is different, but maintains his stance on Balotelli being a player, who is only focussed on doing well for his club.

"Every player is different. I've really enjoyed working with him so far. He's a good guy, he wants to do well for the club and he's shown he cares enough about the club to devote that time to him," Rodgers said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"For me, he's not complicated. He's a football player who wants to do well in his life and career. If he continues to give everything and work tirelessly for the cause there will always be an opportunity here for him," Rodgers added.

The Reds boss also defended his team's poor start to the season, stating that with all the new signings in the team, they will take time to gel and start performing as a unit.

"It's not just Mario; it's the whole group, a new dynamic in the group. We lost Luis (Suarez) who was a marvellous player, and had to bring in a number of players because that's what the depth that the squad needed, we were short last year," the former Swansea City boss explained.

"When there's that transition, there are little bumps along the way. Mario was one of a number of players we brought in and it will take time for them to gel with current players. It's happened here already and it will happen again," the Northern Irishman added.