Balotelli v Higuain: Four areas reported Liverpool target is outperforming Italian

Comparing the Liverpool forward with the Napoli front-man.

Reports this weekend claimed Liverpool made a bid for Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain prior to moving for Mario Balotelli.

It is claimed the Reds were prepared to offer £22million plus Lucas Leiva for the Argentina international, but that the Italian side rejected the approach.  So in light of the latest claims, how does Higuain compare with Balotelli this season?

As you can see from the statistics below, Higuain has scored three goals and provided three assists so far this season, while Liverpool's £16million man has netted just once and is yet to set up a goal for a teammate. 

Higuain also averages more key passes per match and has a better passing accuracy, suggesting that Liverpool were wise if they really did attempt to bring the 26-year-old to Anfield during the summer.

  GoalsGoal AssistKey pass per gamePassing AccuracyShots per gameDribbles per gameAppearancesMins Played
Gonzalo Higuain 3 3 1.3 80.9% 2.3 0.8 10 712
Mario Balotelli 1 0 0.86 75% 4.57 2.14 7 516

And yet for all his scoring prowess, Higuain is yet to score in Serie A this season, despite racking up 445 minutes of football, so perhaps both players are suffering somewhat when it comes to their league duties.

Balotelli does average more shots on goal than his striking counterpart, but that could be said for most players this season given how regularly the Italian lets fly.  But shooting and scoring are two very different things, as is proved by his conversion rate.

Balotelli does however also go on considerably more dribbles per game than Higuain, with the 24-year-old impressing when it comes to his defensive duties under Brendan Rodgers.

So all in all, Higuain continues to prove he is the better goal-scoring option, but he is not exactly tearing up trees this season.  The only problem is, he still looks great compared to a below-par Balotelli, who needs to improve his record in front of goal in the weeks and months ahead.

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