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Johnson backing for Balotelli

03 Oct 2011 09:54:00

Johnson backing for Balotelli

Adam Johnson believes Mario Balotelli is capable of becoming a 20-goal-a-season striker for Manchester City. The Blues are blessed with world-class options throughout their star-studded squad, and that includes in the attacking department. It is, however, looking increasingly likely that Carlos Tevez has played his last game for the club, and that will leave Roberto Mancini one frontman light. Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have led the way so far this season when it comes to firepower, but recent showings from Balotelli suggest he is ready to shoulder added responsibility. The Italian may be slightly unpredictable at times, but Johnson is confident the 21-year-old can fulfil his potential and become a regular Premier League goal-getter. "Everyone knows what Mario's like but he's a goalscorer," said Johnson. "He's a man who can get 20 goals a season if he plays as a central striker. He's a big lad, strong - he has all the attributes. "It's just a case of putting it together week in, week out. He's close to doing that as well. "You look at his stats and it just proves his goalscoring ability. If you give him a chance, he'll put it away." Balotelli was among the goals on Saturday as City hammered Blackburn 4-0 at Ewood Park. That performance came at the end of a tough week for the club, with Tevez's behaviour during a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League having offered an unwelcome distraction. "You can certainly say it was a good response to what happened," said Johnson. "You could see we were together out there but the unity has never gone - it's always been there. "We showed our resilience. After everything that's happened and then coming in at 0-0, a few heads could have gone down. "We could have crumbled. But this shows the strength of the squad and the character we have here."


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