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Welbeck vs Balotelli - The differences between the pair's mid-week performances

We compare the performances of Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Liverpool's Mario Balotelli from mid-week.

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When Danny Welbeck joined Arsenal much was made of the £16 million price-tag which the Gunners paid to bring him to the Emirates Stadium. 

"Why pay so much when you could have had Mario Balotelli for the same price?", Liverpool supporters questioned. 

The are querying it no longer. Although Balotelli has proven to be a match-winner previously in his career he is struggling to reach the top of his game at Anfield, whilst Welbeck looks by far the better investment.

Arsenal have picked up a bargain by signing the former Manchester United man and his performance last night, where he scored a hat-trick in the Gunners' 4-1 win over Galatasaray, showcased his ability.

Before the game Welbeck was drawing comparisons with Emile Heskey - a striker who worked hard but did not score much - on Sky Sports. By the end of it, he was being likened to Thierry Henry.

It shows the fickle nature of football fans in modern time, but it does encapsulate the potential that has been threatening to burst out of Welbeck for some time now.

The 23-year-old's goalscoring record has been unremarkable throughout his career to date, but as the main-man that should change and four goals in five games is a handy return to build upon.

The England international is settled at Arsenal and his first career hat-trick was fine reward for a performance which is sure to make some of his critics eat their words. 

Welbeck has often had unfair stick given to him for his unconventional style, but his finishing was deadly last night and he surpassed Balotelli in every area, as the Italian front-man struggled in Liverpool's defeat to Basel. 


  PositionTeamGoalsShotsShots on targetHeaders WonChances createdTouchesAccurate PassesPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Danny Welbeck FW Arsenal 3 6 66.6% 4 2 61 31 86.1% 1 90
Mario Balotelli FW Liverpool 0 2 50% 0 0 33 11 64.7% 1 90

Aside from the obvious goalscoring feat that Welbeck achieved, he also showed greater accuracy with his shooting and provided better accuracy.

Balotelli made just 11 accurate passes during his side's match against their Swiss opponents, whilst Welbeck completed 31 at a far better ratio of success. 

In the air it was a similar story, as the Arsenal front-man won four headers whilst Balotelli was not able to win one. 

Many may have questioned Arsene Wenger's judgement when he finally spent big on a striker to bring Welbeck in at the time, but those doubts are long gone now and he looks to be a far more astute buy than the one made in Merseyside. 

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