Would Balotelli and El Shaarawy work well together?
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After some speculation that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli could return to Italy and join the forces of AC Milan, questions have been posed if this would be a smart move to pair him up with 20 year old forward Stephan El Shaarawy.
The latter is of Egyptian descent but has been called up to play for the Italian national team and scored his first goal in November 2012 in a friendly against France. El Shaarawy ended the year 2012 as top scorer in the Serie A and promises a great deal of goals yet to come.
The 2010 European Golden Boy Mario Balotelli, originally from Ghana is also a naturalized Italian, and part of the Italian national team. Balotelli has a bit more fame to his name having been one of the main focuses of the English media since his move to Manchester. His antics both on and off the pitch have led to his presence being a regularity in the newspapers.
El Shaarawy definitely has a keen eye for goal and has very good positioning on the pitch. He has somewhat of a trademark move of lobbing his defender before running around and beating him in an attack. He looks to pass quite often when there is an open man but also likes to finish off attacks with a precise shot towards the goal. El Shaarawy has noticeable composure in front of the goal which explains the repetition of his name on AC Milanís score sheets.
Balotelli is definitely a player with natural skill and unspeakable talent. He is pumped up with agility, pace, strength, power and technique, really all the things one looks for in a fantastic striker. He does have one downside though, and that would be his attitude and level of maturity. Of course, he is a young player and has to have fun in his youth but there is a certain level of responsibility that comes with being a highly paid professional athlete. This is just something Balotelli will have to overcome in order to be taken more seriously on the football pitch.
Regarding Marioís transfer to AC Milan, it is a large possibility, especially considering Balotelliís latest controversial dispute with his club Manchester City. Along with this incident, there is also the known fact of Balotelliís love for AC Milan. The striker, who used to play for fierce rivals Internazionale, had once showed up to an interview wearing the football kit of AC Milan, causing all sorts of havoc and fuss in the media.
Should the deal go through, there are a number of benefits that the decision could bring:
1. El Shaarawy for one, is extremely versatile and adapts to basically any offensive position, and with Balotelliís strength, the latter can draw defenders towards him and leave El Shaarawy easily open and free in front of goal.
2. Both are very young players with more than a decade of football left inside them, so playing together could help them form a long lasting striking partnership which would also be used in the Italian national team.
3. Since El Shaarawy is more of a wing forward, AC Milan are currently lacking a proper centre forward, with Alexandre Pato out injured. This, of course, is Mario Balotelliís true position, so it should be no problem for the young City based striker to adapt.
4. Balotelli moving to AC Milan could help out some players show their true potential in the squad. This includes Riccardo Montolivo, who would have more passing options in the final third of the pitch.
It could prove to be a great decision with fantastic results, and of course, it could be a flop like some cases in football where two players just do not get along as expected. It is all left to be seen, should the transfer even go through.
Column written by Vladimir Nikolic.
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