English Premiership

Toure: Balotelli will hit back

2012-12-12 18:51
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

London - Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure says he has no doubts that flamboyant team-mate Mario Balotelli will become one of the top strikers in English football, despite the Italy international's ineffective showing at the weekend.

"Mario is an unbelievable player, but sometimes he can be angry with himself," the Ivory Coast international told the Manchester Evening News website.

"All players need to improve, and I talk all the time with Mario.

"This year especially he has been working hard in training, and improving well, but sometimes in the game you can get so disappointed when you lose small things.

"But he has fantastic character, and I know he will be one of the top strikers in the Premier League."

Balotelli has endured a frustrating time of late and struggled to make an impact during Sunday's 3-2 home defeat against Manchester United, before eventually coming off early in the second half.

The 22-year-old has had plenty of ups and downs since joining Manchester City in 2010 and looked a dejected figure at the end of this latest chapter in his City career, reacting to being substituted by heading straight down the tunnel.

His future appears to lie with City however, as his Italian manager Roberto Mancini keeps faith with the Euro 2012 finalist and insists the player is not for sale despite the approach of the the January transfer window.

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Stoke City v Burnley, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Swansea City, Etihad Stadium 17:00
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