Mario can be better than Torres – Mancini

Mancini completed a swoop for Balotelli from his former club Inter

Milan earlier this month after City’s interest in Torres had been

rebuked. Balotelli, who signed a five-year deal, made an immediate

impact for City when he scored the winner on his debut in the

club’s 1-0 Europa League play-off first leg win over Romanian side

Timisoara last week. And with the 20-year-old in line to make his

first Premier League appearance against the Reds on Monday evening,

Mancini is confident he has a young player who will make his mark

on the English game. “I think that Balotelli could be as good as

Torres and even better than him,” Mancini said. “That’s because

Torres can only play as a striker. Balotelli can play as a striker

and as a winger. He has a different attitude from Torres. “But what

is sure is that we are talking about two fantastic players.”

Balotelli is expected to be fit for tonight’s match at Eastlands

after injuring himself in the match against Timisoara and Mancini

warned: “The defenders do not know much about him but they will see

he can change everything about a game. “I saw him four years ago

when I was at Inter Milan. He was 16 or 17. “It was the last five

games of the Serie A championship. We had (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic

injured and we played Mario inside and he played like someone who

was 30 years old. “That’s because he has good technique, he has

everything. Yes, he is a good signing for us.”