Big signings owe Liverpool big performances, says Berger
The likes of Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren were bought as Brendan Rodgers’ men prepared to mount a challenge for the Premier League title.
However, Berger - crowned Liverpool’s Player of the Month immediately after moving to Merseyside in 1996 - has yet to see many of them justify their price tags and pull their weight at Anfield.
“I am expecting a lot more from Liverpool’s signings. There’s only one who I can say is satisfying my demands, and that’s Lallana,” the former Czech winger told FourFourTwo exclusively.
“I like him, and I think he can be one to make the difference too. The rest need to perform much better since they've signed for Pool.”
“These players are the finished articles and they shouldn’t need all that much time to adapt. They need to come in, and perform.”
“They may have had chances to go elsewhere, but they chose Liverpool because of the club’s heritage and what it stands for. It shouldn’t fall to [senior players like Steven] Gerrard to teach them how to play for the club.”
Markovic admitted he needed more time to adapt to his new surroundings in October, and while Berger conceded the team’s struggles were not speeding up the process, he also expects the Serb plus team-mate Balotelli to apply their talent better in matches.
“I don’t know if Markovic speaks English, but when I signed, I couldn’t speak a word,” Berger continued.
“Though I couldn’t understand anything in the dressing room, we all understood our football.”
“I’m not sure what Markovic is being asked to do by the manager on the pitch, but if you buy someone for over £20 million, I think he should do much better.”
“I’ve not been impressed by Balotelli at all. It was difficult to move to the club and make an immediate impact given the team were already playing badly.”
“Still, I think he needs to do much more, and more than just in the sense of scoring goals. He’s often found in the wrong positions, and he should be working much harder for the team.”
“Sometimes hard work brings you the luck needed to score goals, but I’m missing that sense most about Balotelli.”
The attacking duo joined Liverpool for a combined cost of nearly £40m in the summer but, till now, have only managed two goals in all competitions between themselves.