Arsenal Transfer News: Mario Balotelli Buy Wouldn't End Gunners' Attacking Needs

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  Mario Balotelli of Italy during a training session on June 16, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Many Arsenal fans will be pleased to hear that Mario Balotelli's agent has spoken favourably of his client's chances regarding a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t The Guardian's Toby Moses), Mino Raiola stated that there are only a select sample of clubs who could afford to take the Milan striker but hints that the Gunners may be among that contingent: "Arsenal are a fantastic club. Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli – like all premium players, and he is one of the greatest. Anything is possible."'s James Goldman is one who is in total agreement with the switch:

However, the Italian forward would not solve Arsene Wenger's attacking deficiencies single-handedly, despite bringing a very particular brand of excitement to north London.

Even with an FA Cup trophy in tow, Arsenal will know their 2013-14 campaign could have been so much more were it not for an unfortunate collapse in the second half of the season.

And that breakdown was thanks to the squad not having the necessary resources to cope with the absence of several key figures. In attack, the absentee who comes to mind is Olivier Giroud, who inevitably struggled with a mighty workload as the term wore on. 

Balotelli is currently impressing for Cesare Prandelli's Azzurri at the World Cup, and after netting the winner in his side's 2-1 win over England last Saturday, he's showing the ability to once again perform on the biggest stages of all.

OptaJoe and Sky Football's Daniel Storey illustrate just how reliable the 23-year-old has been of late and in the longer term:

Out wide, Wenger has talents for the present and future, but his current first-team stars don't necessarily all pass for "elite" status. Theo Walcott's 2013-14 season and indeed his World Cup were ruined by a knee injury, leaving Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to become the most senior flank figures.

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 14:  Mario Balotelli of Italy controls the ball against goalkeeper Joe Hart of England during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Ada
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

In Joel Campbell and Serge Gnabry, the club has highly promising prospects to mould, but there may be a greater need for emphasis on the here and now.

Another worry with Balotelli is of course his maturity and lack of reliability both on and off the pitch. However, The Guardian's Daniel Taylor suggests the attacker may have grown since moving back to his native Italy:

Balotelli is a malleable talent up front in that he can perform as a sole striking asset and has shown at Manchester City that he can function alongside other central figures.

However, believing that the ex-Premier League bad boy alone will bring Arsenal riches would be folly, as there is much left to care for in the club's attacking regions.