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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed the club have not and will not become "the Mario Balotelli show".

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed the club have not and will not become "the Mario Balotelli show".

Balotelli is in contention to make his debut for the Reds in tomorrow's English Premier League game at Tottenham following his move from AC Milan earlier this week.

There has been plenty of excitement - not least among Liverpool fans - at the return to English football of the maverick Italy striker, who had such a colourful spell with Manchester City.

Rodgers has been impressed by the impact Balotelli has made so far in training with the Merseyside outfit, but is keen to emphasise that no individual will be allowed to overshadow the rest of his players.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference yesterday, Rodgers said: "This is not the Mario Balotelli show.

"He is a good player, a talented player. But he has got a lot of work to do here.

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"We have a number of top-class players and the star of this team will always be the team."

He added: "Mario has settled in very well and has looked fantastic in training.

"He is a good lad. The focus is very much on his football and he has done very well."

Asked about how much responsibility the 24-year-old has in terms of compensating for the loss of Liverpool's top scorer last season, Luis Suarez, Rodgers replied: "No more than the rest of the team. He is a member of the team.

"He is top-quality - there is no doubt about that. He is a class act, the boy, with wonderful football qualities.

"We are looking to bring him in and he can play with (fellow striker) Daniel Sturridge, he can play up there on his own or play off the side. He is moving to Merseyside. He is engrossing himself into the club and the people, but more importantly into his football.

"I look forward to seeing that development over the coming years."

Another major summer signing could make their Liverpool bow on Sunday, with midfielder Adam Lallana now available after recovering from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Rodgers will assess the condition of three players who sustained problems during Monday's 3-1 loss at Manchester City in Alberto Moreno (ankle), Martin Skrtel (knock) and Glen Johnson (thigh), with the latter of the trio looking most likely to miss the contest at White Hart Lane.

Fellow defender Jon Flanagan is not yet ready to return as he works his way back to fitness from his knee injury, but Rodgers is optimistic he will be in action again in the coming weeks - and with a new contract.

Asked if he was looking to wrap up a new deal for Flanagan soon, the manager said: "Yes, with a bit of luck.

"He has been unfortunate with his injury record, but he is a young kid who I really, really want to be an important member of our squad.

"He deserves a new contract. He did exceptionally well last season, he is recovering well from his injury and hopefully he'll be back soon, with a new deal as well."

Rodgers also indicated that there are likely to be some departures from his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday.

"There will probably be more movement out than coming in I would say," the Northern Irishman said.

"There are offers for players to go and every player here knows their situation.

"If they are here after that deadline on Monday, then they have decided to stay, but the game-time will be very limited.

"At this moment in time, there are not many more to come in, if any."

One player who has already left is Jordon Ibe, with Liverpool announcing yesterday that the teenage winger has joined Derby on a season-long loan deal.


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