Pitchside

Why Balotelli would be the perfect signing for Arsenal

Pitchside

View gallery

.
Squawka say AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli could just be the player Arsenal need as they look ahead to next season.

- - -

While Arsene Wenger will still be revelling in the glory of claiming his first trophy in nine years, the Frenchman will have almost certainly begun identifying his summer transfer targets as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of another gruelling campaign.

While there are other areas that need strengthening too, Wenger will be keen to make acquisitions in the striking department and one name that has been linked with Arsenal is Mario Balotelli.

The diminutive forward is fondly remembered on English shores for his time at Manchester City and while his reputation was tarnished by on and off the field incidents, he could prove to be an ideal acquisition for the north London outfit.

View gallery

.

AC Milan failed to build on their strong end to last season and manager Massimiliano Allegri was dismissed. Balotelli seemed affected by all the on-goings and with a number of injuries hampering his progress, he really failed to get the ball rolling.

Despite that, Balotelli managed 30 games in Serie A this season, although he did come off the bench in five of those. He managed to net 14 goals in the league which made him Milan's top goalscorer - highlighting how he has matured and become a leader in the side.

View gallery

.

Wenger was lambasted by many for failing to provide Olivier Giroud with adequate support up front and it is clear to see why the fans were on the back of not only the manager, but the forward.

Giroud's tendency to stay in the middle, almost glued to the opposition penalty area, means Arsenal's lack of movement in the forward department leaves them at a disadvantage compared to more mobile strikers in the Premier League.

Balotelli, however, has adapted to a new game and he has proven that in the way he has netted his goals this season. Six of his 14 Serie A strikes were outside the opposition penalty area, outlining his gift as a dead ball specialist and also a prolific finisher.

View gallery

.

Balotelli seemed to be more concerned with himself during his time at the Etihad, but he has become more of a team player and his creativity has improved after that change in direction. He created 32 chances in Serie A this season, the fourth-highest in the Milan side, and also registered six assists in the league.

For a player who was constantly criticised for his on-the-field issues, Balotelli has yet to curb his fiery side, a fact demonstrated when you look closely at his disciplinary record. He received 10 yellow cards this season, the most in the Milan side, and was also sent off once.

View gallery

.

The demands placed upon him to excel are even higher in Italy. Playing in his home country, he is seen as the solution to the current Milan's side problems and while the Balotelli of old would have replied to the responsibility with his usual misdemeanors, he seems to have thrived off the spotlight placed on him.

His personality is deemed to be a product of the environment he grew up in, but Wenger will know that he is recruiting a talent. The Italian international would take the added pressure off Giroud. He would provide the Gunners with a different outlet and could prove to be an astute signing.

View Comments (40)
Fantasy Premier League