Alan Hanson recently described Mario Balotelli as “a damaging distraction at the Etihad Stadium”, highlighting the growing perception that the Italian has become more hassle than he is worth to Roberto Mancini.
However, Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Balotelli has been one of the most dangerous strikers in the league this season, averaging a goal every 93.69 minutes. This is over ten minutes more frequent than any other player (with at least 10 goals) and comfortably superior to his team mates Edin Dzeko (1 goal per 110.77 minutes) and Sergio Agüero (1 goal per 117.8 minutes).
Minutes per goal in the 2011/12 Premier League
Unsurprisingly, this puts Balotelli in the top five conversion rates (25%) and three places higher than the league’s top scorer, Robin van Persie (23%).
Conversion rates in the 2011/12 Premier League
This weekend Arsenal could end Manchester City’s title chances as a victory over City would see them fall 8 points behind Manchester United. Balotelli has had a pretty full week having been involved in a two-car collision in Medlock Street, near Deansgate in his Bentley. The Italian striker escaped unharmed however and is expected to play some part in this weekend’s – game perhaps off the bench.
Most goals as a substitute in the 2011/12 Premier League