Arsenal seem set to sign former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli in their bid for a prolific goalscorer. Reports claim that Arsene Wenger has gone to Brazil to discuss a £25 million move with the player's agent. But is this the right choice?
Balotelli is, without a doubt, a world class striker on his day. He can be remembered for sinking England recently, his two goals in the Euro semi finals, and for one of the goals of last season against Bologna. Arsenal fans watching that goal will be delighted that he seems set for a move to the Emirates. However, is Balotelli the right deal?
AN ARSENAL PLAYER?
Arsenal do, without a doubt, lack a truly world class forward, one to replace Robin Van Persie and give Giroud competition other than Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner. They have been linked with many, and it seems Wenger prefers Balotelli. The Italian would be available for £25 million. However, while Balotelli scores some magnificent goals, and is clearly a natural finisher, is the prolific goalscorer Arsenal need?
Let's compare him to their current frontman, Olivier Giroud: Giroud got 22 goals and 12 assists in all competitions last season, averaging a 43% goalscoring record. Balotelli got 18 goals and 8 assists in all competitions, averaging 44% goalscoring record. So Balotelli is around equally prolific, but does not score or create more goals than Giroud.
Arsenal would definitely want a player that is better than Giroud in order for him to improve, and apart from free kicks, I cannot think of many qualities that Balotelli possesses but Giroud doesn't. Balotelli does also lack a little consistency that the world class striker Arsenal want requires. Indeed in his last seven matches for AC Milan he struck just one goal.
Let's consider another target: Mario Mandzukic. Mandzukic hammered in 26 goals, created 10 more and sported an impressive 54% record. However, it is believed that the Croatian could be available for a bargain price of £15 million. So Wenger could get a better player for a cheaper price.
With the acquisition of Mandzukic, plus a reserve goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder and a right-back (even though reports suggest they have wrapped up a deal for Serge Aurier) Arsenal could be genuine title contenders next season.
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