Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli vows to improve goal scoring recordGetty

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has heaped praise on skipper Steven Gerrard and believes the club will find it very difficult to replace a player of his quality.

The Italian striker, who joined the Reds in the summer from AC Milan, is surprised at the former England skipper's technique and skill and has compared him with Italy legend and World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo.

"Gerrard is an amazing player. I had really not seen much of him before this season, apart from for England, but wow. I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo," Balotelli said, as quoted by Goal.

"Vision, technique, but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything. It's going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future," the Italian international added.

Balotelli was signed by Brendan Rodgers to make up for the loss of Luis Suarez, who left for Barcelona in the summer, but the former Manchester City striker has found it difficult to get going in England despite it being his second stint in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old striker has just scored one goal in eight appearances for the club and has struggled to convert when chances are presented to him in the box.

He believes that Liverpool's system of playing with one central striker supported by wingers is not suiting him but insists that he will make more of an effort at getting better in the upcoming games.

"I need to get in the box more. I don't do it enough, but it is something I am working to try to do more. I have never been a real, out-and-out striker – I have always been someone who goes around the pitch, you know?" the former AC Milan striker explained.

"If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It's the way I like to play, but Brendan asked me to play as the first striker.

"I understand that when the ball comes from wide on the left or right, I need to be in the box otherwise there might be no one there at all."