The Daily Mirror is reporting on the future of two reported Arsenal targets today. They claim that Bayern Munich and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic could be set to snub a move to north London and return to former club Wolfsburg this summer.
The Mirror also reports that the Gunners could sign AC Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli for £29.5million this summer.
Mandzukic has a prolific scoring record in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg and more recently Bayern Munich. The striker scored a brace in Croatia’s 4-0 World Cup victory over Cameroon in Group A. The 28-year-old missed the opening game against hosts Brazil and was greatly missed.
Mandzukic is a very good hold-up man. He holds the ball up well and brings in his teammates, as well as scoring goals. However, he is slightly more mobile than Gunners first choice striker Olivier Giroud and scores more goals.
However, his attributes may prove too similar to those of Giroud, as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his attack ahead of next season. Maybe a striker with different attributes would be a wiser purchase.
Mario Balotelli has all the attributes to become a truly great player. He is big, strong and has pace, all attributes that are useful at any level of the game. The World Cup has been a perfect illustration of Balotelli’s career so far though.
The AC Milan striker scored a superb header against England in Italy’s opening match, prior to missing a golden opportunity and sulking for much of the Azzurri’s 1-0 defeat against Costa Rica. Those two performances sum up Balotelli’s inconsistency throughout his career.
The problem with Balotelli is his attitude. At times his giant ego gets in the way of performing for the team. If things do not go his way he often sulks and looks disinterested in the game. Balotelli is the good, the bad and often the ugly face of football.
When he is on form he can be unstoppable, but off-form and he just looks like he does not even want to be on a football pitch.
To compare the two strikers would be difficult. Mandzukic has a much better attitude towards the game, but Balotelli has the potential to become a world-class player if he can get his head right. However, £30million is a lot of money to pay for a player who can be so erratic.
The decision could be made irrelevant if Mandzukic decides to stay in the Bundesliga. Balotelli is not the only forward option available to the Gunners. Hopefully Wenger will be able to do what he could not in January and strengthen the Gunners attack.
Would you prefer Mandzukic or Balotelli at Arsenal next season?