Replacing Balotelli with Cavani is a no brainer for Man City

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After 21 games last season, Manchester City had already netted 57 goals to help sit top of the Premier League standings.

Fast forward 12 months, they have scored 16 goals less, are seven points adrift of Manchester United and as a result are now 10/3 to retain their Premier League title.

A new striker in January may help turn their season around and Edinson Cavani may be the answer to their problems.

Napoli reportedly turned down an offer of £45m for the striker in the summer, thought to be from Zenit, but it has been speculated that there is a £51m release clause in his contract.

This may seem on the extortionate side, but Cavani is in the peak of his career at the age of 25 and has been deadly this season with 23 goals in 21 club appearances.

Meanwhile, he has been on target in 11 of Napoli’s last 12, including each of the last seven, in which time he has scored ten goals.

The promise of goals is an obvious positive point, but Cavani’s game has so much more to it.

Given his size and stature, comparisons to Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko are evident, but Cavani trumps both in terms of limitless levels of stamina to win back possession and a monstrous willingness to work for the team.

This work ethic could add a new string to City’s bow, especially if he is brought in as a replacement for Balotelli, where effort must be categorised as one of his weakest attributes.

Napoli have indicated before that they would be interested in Balotelli and president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that he would have no qualms about pairing Cavani with the Italian at his own club.

Sending Balotelli to Napoli as a makeweight in an exchange deal must certainly be something that would appeal to Man City and could snip about a third off Cavani’s asking price.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.