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Allen excited by Balotelli, Sturridge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers doesn't believe Mario Balotelli will disrupt his content squad.

LIVERPOOL -- Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen believes Mario Balotelli will bring the best out of Daniel Sturridge, while he expects Liverpool's new-look strike force to excel.

Henderson: Balotelli is a lift

Balotelli joined the Reds from AC Milan on Monday for 16 million pounds and Allen feels he will prove to be a superb signing.

"I am sure [Balotelli] is as excited as anyone else," Allen told reporters. "Top players, they love playing with other top players. I think it brings the best out in people.

"It is great to have competition throughout the squad. I think it really spurs people on to improve and be at their best."

Sturridge formed a prolific partnership with Luis Suarez, who has been sold to Barcelona, and last season they scored 52 league goals between them -- a record for a pair in a 38-game division.

Balotelli has since joined Liverpool to replace Suarez and Allen believes Sturridge will relish the chance to link up with the Italy international.

Allen added: "He's a player of massive quality. I think that is another great addition. He has that spontaneous edge to him. I am excited to work with him and it is a massive threat he's going to give us."

Liverpool have spent 117 million pounds this summer, convincing the Wales international that there is now much more depth to Brendan Rodgers' squad.

Allen said: "Credit to the club. They have worked really hard this summer to bring in players and strengthen us after a positive season. It shows our ambition to take that step forward.

"The squad has great balance now, strength in depth. There is certainly going to be competition for places in every area."

Balotelli was not registered in time to face Manchester City on Monday but Lazar Markovic did make his debut as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat.

And Allen expects the Serbia international to succeed, saying: "[He has] plenty of pace. He's going to be a big threat for us throughout the year."

Liverpool, whose defence was breached 50 times in the Premier League last season, have conceded four goals in their two league games this term.

However, Allen is convinced that the addition of centre-back Dejan Lovren and left-back Alberto Moreno, who made his debut at the Etihad Stadium, will help them tighten up at the back.

Allen said: "Last season we had a great season but when we analysed it we conceded goals too easily at times. It is something we are looking to rectify. We are on the right path.

"Against Man City it is tough because they have got quality in attack but I think throughout the season we will see a big improvement in that area."


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