Mario Balotelli has built a career on exasperating and entertaining in equal measure. But that balance is looking rather out of kilter after an uninspiring start to life at Liverpool.

The Italian international's return of one goal in 10 games, coupled with a sequence of underwhelming performances, has seen the decision to bring him back to the Premier League roundly ridiculed.

His half-time shirt exchange during the 3-0 loss to Real Madrid and an ongoing police probe over claims he threatened a woman for taking a photo of his Ferrari have done little to lift the dark cloud hanging over him.

Yet it can also be argued that Balotelli's woes have provided a useful smokescreen for a side that is currently beset by problems elsewhere on the pitch.

It's worth remembering the maligned Italian accounted for just £16m of the hefty £130m Liverpool spent this summer (data obtained from IBTimes UK has considered how each of Brendan Rodgers' other signings have fared in their opening three months of the season.

(For obvious reasons, Divock Origi has been left off this list as it tends to be rather difficult to change your team's fortunes while playing in another country on loan.)

Dejan Lovren

The Croatian was tipped by his manager to provide the leadership that has been missing from the Liverpool backline since Jamie Carragher's retirement but Southampton fans have been given every reason to gleefully laugh and point at their former player's despairing start to life at Anfield.

Forging new partnerships at centre half takes time, but the 25-year-old's presence has done nothing to address his side's frailties at the back so far.

Adam Lallana

Given his rise to prominence last season and the exorbitant fee spent on bringing him to Anfield, Adam Lallana's performances were always likely to come under the most scrutiny. Injury has limited the England international to just four appearances this term and his invention has been missed.

The 26-year-old shook off a sluggish start, a standard by-product of missing preseason, to provide bright performances against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion. So far, so good.

Emre Can

The first of Liverpool's arrivals, Can has not really had the chances to prove he can provide the steel in Liverpool's midfield behind the craft of Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho et al.

Having started his first game against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday –his other league appearances amounting to 45 minutes of playing time off the bench - the German Under-21 international is still to make any sort of impression, good or bad.

Alberto Moreno

The Spaniard is Liverpool's latest attempt to address a perennial problem that has seen them go through seven left backs in eight years. Moreno has provided glimpses of his dynamism going forward, notably in his exhilarating performance against Tottenham.

Concerns over his positioning come with the territory when signing a young full back, but Moreno stands as the outstanding performer among new recruits.

Rickie Lambert

The boyhood dream hasn't gone according to plan as of yet. Even in Daniel Sturridge's absence, chances at Anfield have been at a premium for Lambert.

Brendan Rodgers' penchant for one up front has seen the former Southampton star start just one game in the Premier League and Champions League. With the 32-year-old jostling with Balotelli for the role, the two have shared the pitch for just 16 minutes in the Premier League this season, and just 10 in Europe.

Liverpool's strikers – Lambert, Balotelli and Fabio Borini – have contributed just one goal between them since Daniel Sturridge's injury at the end of August. Lambert will shoulder some of the blame for that stat, despite his limited role.

Javi Manquillo

Liverpool's record of 19 goals conceded in all competitions is a damming indictment of the form of their defenders, but like his countryman Moreno, Manquillo's reputation remains intact.

Injuries to Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan have allowed him to provide a steady, if somewhat unspectacular impression of himself so far, given his inexperience.

Lazar Markovic

The Serbian starlet has struggled to settle at Liverpool and as a result, his impact has been perhaps the most minimal.

The fact that the Reds have failed to win a game in which he has started is a harsh coincidence – his exhilarating emergence at Benfica justified Rodgers' desire to bring him to the club, but early impressions suggest it may be next season before we start to see some of the form that encouraged the club to invest £20m in him.