Peter Schmeichel: 'Liverpool need to build team around Mario Balotelli'

Dejected Steven Gerrard and Mario Balotelli of Liverpool after conceding the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between FC Basel 1893 and Liverpool FC at St. Jakob Stadium on October 1, 2014
© Getty Images
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes that Liverpool should build their team around striker Mario Balotelli.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on Liverpool to build their team around striker Mario Balotelli, a player he deems "completely different" to former forward Luis Suarez.

The Italian international has come under criticism of late for his performances on the pitch, as well as for swapping shirts at half time with Real Madrid defender Pepe in a Champions League game while the Reds were three goals down.

Schmeichel told BBC Sport: "You have to think about who Mario Balotelli is replacing - Luis Suarez. They are two completely different players.

"If you bring someone like Balotelli in, you have to build something around him, and it doesn't look like Liverpool have. 22 chances he has missed this season, and it now becomes a confidence thing."

Balotelli has scored one goal in nine games for Liverpool.

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli plays during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane in London on August 31, 2014
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