Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli has scored four goals for Liverpool this seasonGetty

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has posted a controversial message on Instagram telling his detractors to "shut up".

The Italy international has failed to make the impact expected at Anfield since his £16m ($23.5m) move from AC Milan in summer 2014 to replace Luis Suarez.

While the former Manchester City star has only netted four goals in 24 appearances for Brendan Rodger's side he has been involved in several controversies.

In December 2014, the Italian was banned for one game and handed a £25,000 fine for posting an allegedly anti-Semitic and racist photo featuring Nintendo flagship character Super Mario with the caption "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".

Two months later, the Italy international came under fire for taking a penalty against Besiktas ahead of Jordan Henderson, with captain Steven Gerrard accusing him of showing disrespect.

Recently, Balotelli sent a message to his critics, dedicating his first Premier League League game of the campaign, during the crucial 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, to just "those who have always believed and supported" him even during the hard times.

"Great game guys!!! This smile is ONLY for those that always Belive and support me. Thank you . ❤️ and Forza Liverpool. But now head down and keep working hard. Tonight is past," the striker posted at the time.

Earlier in March, he fuelled rumours of a potential summer exit with a post on Instagram to mysteriously claim someone just does not like him after being unused as a substitute against Burnley.

"Someone doesn't Like me But differently of what they say about me im a team player and im so proud of my team,of this win and of these fans! ❤️ let's keep going? bravi ragazzi!!! YNWA !!!," he posted.

And Balotelli has again come out to defend himself from critics with a video on Instagram saying: "For those with an easy judge without knowing s*** about others. #idowhatiwant-remember!"

"Do you know me? Did you ever talk to me, personally? Do you know what I've been through in my life? You just saw me play football on the pitch. Man, shut up."