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Friday, 14 February 2014

Arsenal: Could Mario Balotelli really be on his way to the Emirates?

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Arsene Wenger's refusal to sign a striker in the January transfer window looks as though it may be coming back to haunt him. 

Thrashed by Liverpool last weekend and unable to break down Manchester United in midweek, the Gunners are in danger of letting their three-pronged charge for a trophy run out of steam. 

However, it's emerged that Wenger may be keen to bring former madcap Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli back to these shores. According to a piece in the Metro, Arsene Wenger has reportedly met with the Italian's agent to discuss a potential move in the summer.

It's clear that Balotelli would jump at a move away from the San Siro. Not only are AC struggling in Serie A, but he has been subjected to disgraceful racist abuse across the country.  

But can you really see him ending up at Arsenal?

Mario BalotelliBalotelli is a fantastic footballer. He has a great goals per game ratio and is coolness personified in front of goal. However, his attitude has given many a manger grey hair. Jose Mourinho couldn't cope with his off-beat behaviour while Roberto Mancini almost went round the bend trying to keep him in check. Tales of setting off fireworks before a game, giving cash to homeless people and much more are the stuff of dreams for journalists, but could Wenger be the one to tame him?

The Frenchman doesn't really have a track record of signing bad boys. Granted Patrick Vieira was hardly a shrinking violet in the heart of midfield, but he wasn't a sandwich short of a picnic case either. 

Balotelli would be like a fat kid in a sweet shop among the bright lights of London. There would be so much temptation for him that Wenger would never be able to sleep easy at night. But, Balotelli, in the right frame of mind on the pitch, is a game changer. He can score the tap ins, he can score goals from absolutely nothing and he can get the fans on to their feet. 

The Italian is a controversial figure. Remember the time he kicked Scott Parker on the head when he was playing for Manchester City against Spurs? The game was finely poised at the time and Spurs fans were pleading for him to be sent off. The ref refused and right at the death he made the visitors pay by scoring the decisive penalty kick to win the game 3-2.

There would never be a dull moment with Balotelli in the team, but is he really an Arsenal signing? 

It's not a move I would go for personally, but Wenger knows more about football than me. All I know is that whatever happens between now and May, Arsenal simply must strengthen their attacking options in the summer. Whether it's Balotelli they bring in or not, they need someone to take the pressure off the jaded Olivier Giroud.

Calling all Arsenal fans: Would you be happy to see Balotelli in an Arsenal shirt? Do you think Wenger would really splash the cash to bring the Italian back to these shores? If Balotelli doesn't come, who would you like to see Wenger sign? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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Antony Melvin



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