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Arsenal fans excited as Balotelli drops big Emirates hint

| 18.07.2014

In possibly the most modern come and get me plea of all time Mario Balotelli has encouraged Arsene Wenger through the unlikely medium of his girlfriend’s Instagram account!

The AC Milan striker has long been rumoured to be heading for north London, with Arsenal’s new kit manufacturer Puma hoping to place one of their star brand ambassadors in the new strip.

Balotelli is a known prankster and there’s every reason to believe that the photo is just his way of poking fun at the rumours that have followed him around this summer.

However, Arsenal fans, who have had their appetites whetted by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, are salivating further at the prospect of the Italy hitman – who downed England at the World Cup – spearheading their attack for the season ahead.

The Gunners are 13/2 fourth favourites to land the Premier League title after recruiting Sanchez from Barcelona and these odds would surely tumble if the Instagram snap proves to be prophetic.

Balotelli hit 30 goals in 80 games during his first spell in the English top flight with Manchester City.

However, should Arsenal’s interest be followed up with a concrete bid, the Gunners can expect a more accomplished striker after Balotelli reached the same tally in just 54 games with Milan.

Balotelli would bring his own unique set of issues to the club, with his eccentricities well documented, but his ability on the pitch could propel Arsenal from also-rans to genuine title contenders once again.

Balotelli’s goal ratio last term was recorded at 0.62 goals per game and if he could bring that Serie A form back into the Premier League the Gunners’ goal tally would certainly increase.

Current first choice striker Olivier Giroud – who has had his own off-field problems to contend with – has hit 39 goals in his 98 games so far at an inferior rate of 0.39 strikes per match.

So while the Puma snap is probably just some light hearted fun, Arsenal fans will be hoping there is more to it than meets the eye.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.