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Balotelli is 'doing his best', insists Rodgers

Balotelli moved to Anfield in a £16million deal from Milan in August, boosting a Liverpool forward line that was shorn of Luis Suarez in pre-season, who went to Barcelona.

However, the Italian has failed to replace the Uruguayan's goals, with just one strike to his name so far - against Ludogorets in the UEFA Champions League.

A fruitless Premier League return has heaped pressure on striker and manager - especially in Daniel Sturridge's injury-enforced absence - with Balotelli spurning a host of chances at QPR on Sunday including an open goal in the second half.

However, Rodgers praised the 24-year-old's commitment to improve, and expects that to reap rewards sooner rather than later.

"It'll drop for the boy," Rodgers said.

"The most important thing for me is his work, the guy's doing his best, he's working really hard, it's just not dropping for him at the moment.

"He's probably seen as the direct replacement for Luis but I said before, Luis was irreplaceable, a real world class talent, and that's not what is being asked of Mario. 

"He's a great boy, I've really enjoyed working with him, he wants to improve, he wants to be better, but it's not going to happen overnight for him.

"He's not going to be what Suarez was, he's a totally different type of player. Eventually the goals will come for him."