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9.2% conversion rate: Is £20m Arsenal target good enough to challenge Giroud?

Balotelli V Arsenal

Is Mario Balotelli the answer to Arsenal's striking problems?

Arsenal have added former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli to their list of summer targets, according to The Telegraph, but is he good enough to be considered?

The charismatic 23-year-old has been labelled a playboy in the past, but has often shut doubters up with his on the pitch quality, which can be embodied by the infamous ‘Why Always Me’ t-shirt following a brace against Manchester United.

However, more recently, the Italian international has found it difficult to provide the goods on the pitch to silence doubters, and therefore, producing more and more critics for both his attitude and performances.

He has reportedly been made available by AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi; however, the Italian is adamant no decision has been made on the 23-year-old’s future.

But, why the sudden criticism of the Mario Balotelli’s performances, especially when you consider he scored an impressive 14-goals? Well, one statistic alone can answer that.

Last season, no player in the Italian division hit more shots at goal than Balotelli, 152, a total which sees him average over 5 shots per game. In comparison to Ciro Immobile, the league’s top goalscorer, he scored eight goals less despite having 51 more shots.

Ultimately, it leaves Balotelli with one of the most embarrassing conversion rates in Europe, 9.2%, and in comparison with Olivier Giroud’s 14.28% is incredibly poor.

Nevertheless, it would be argued that a move back to the Premier League could see the 23-year-old back to his best, producing the kind of performances that all football supporters warmed to. In fact, looking at his statistics from his last full season in the Premier League shows that he can be impressive.

  TeamPosTotal Scoring AttGoals(Goals / Total Scoring Att) * 100AppsMins
Mario Balotelli Manchester City FW 82 13 15.85 23 1,321

A conversion rate better than Giroud's this season, and one that is hugely superior to his current form. Therefore, a move back to the Premier League may just be what is needed for Balotelli; but, on the other hand, he would represent an expensive gamble for Arsene Wenger to take.

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