Brendan Rodgers signed Fabio Borini for £11m in April 2012 and after having worked with him at Chelsea, he revealed “I’d anticipate that over the next two or three years he’ll really progress and I’m sure do very well for Liverpool”. Fast forward two years, the “progress” that was supposed to take place has been badly hampered by injuries, indifferent form and the presence of players that are better than him.
Borini’s style of play suits Liverpool; his movement is second to none, his finishing is above average, he has good pace and the required technical skills too, but he never really got a string of games to get any sort of momentum that a striker sorely needs, mainly due to injuries.
The former Roma man was loaned out to Sunderland last year and the move finally kick started his career in England as he was a shining light in a very average Sunderland team. He was deployed as a striker and at times as the left sided player in a 4-1-4-1 formation used by Gus Poyet. He managed to scored 7 goals in 32 appearances, the most memorable of which came against arch rivals Newcastle. His loan move was a success considering the horror time that he endured at Merseyside. So now the question arises, Should Liverpool keep him?
Well the answer is more of a no, and it’ll be very generous of Brendan Rodgers if he keeps the 23-year old. Liverpool have strengthened in attacking areas this summer, and after the arrivals of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and the return of Suso from loan, it’ll be very hard for Borini to make the team as a wide player. And assuming Brendan Rodgers goes with the 4-3-3 formation that he has used so far in pre-season, Borini will probably be the 5th choice for Liverpool. When it comes to leading the line, last season’s second highest goal scorer, Daniel Sturridge is clearly the favourite. Rickie Lambert’s arrival makes it even harder for Borini to get into the 1st team, as the former Southampton man is not mug either!
And to make matters worse, the Liverpool boss is out looking for a striker, which is a way of saying “You are free to leave”. Sunderland agreed a fee of £14m with Liverpool for the Italian, but negotiations with the player are yet to take place as he injured himself in a pre-season game and later there were rumours that he wanted to prove himself at Liverpool. However, Gus Poyet remains adamant that they can sign him. The Sunderland fans liked Borini and his goals were crucial in helping them stay afloat. He won the club player of the year award at Wearside as well. Liverpool on the other hand will be happy to get anywhere close to the fee they signed him for and £14m is definitely a profit for a player who has rarely featured for them.
VERDICT: There is too much quality in the team and selling Borini for the fee offered will be the best foot forward for Liverpool.