In a first season that saw him spend more time on the training table than the pitch, it'd be fair to say that Fabio Borini was likely ready to get to the summer and place all his focus on the start of the next campaign. A better-than-expected rehab stint meant that he was available sooner than expected, though, and shortly after coming on, he'd managed to break his Premier League duck with a goal that was far more significant than the scoreline might have indicated:
"One of my objectives was to get fit as soon as possible and my aim was to score at least one goal. I've already done that so I've got three games left to do more than what I was aiming to achieve. I hope next season will be different.
"It's difficult to describe those kinds of feelings because it's only if you play football that you can understand everything that goes through your mind at that moment. After everything I've been through this season - injuries, operations, coming back and being injured again were a big frustration for me to not play and help the team - that goal gave me the confidence for next season and showed to the people what I could do if I wasn't injured."
There's something about Fabio Borini that I find mighty endearing; I can disqualify the half-mohawk he sported before his first injury as any sort of positive contribution, and it's more likely the fact that he just gives off the vibe of a player who loves what he does and is willing to do just about anything to be successful at it. That's likely me creating my own narrative or perspective to support liking a player that I just like, but all indications thus far are that he's intent on doing everything he can for Liverpool.
That won't be enough on its own, of course, and at some point he'll have to show that he's more than just a hard worker and smart runner. Those are admirable and influential qualities, but he was brought in to help add to the goals tally, and if comparisons to Dirk Kuyt are ever going to be more than just a fun commonality, Borini's going to need to pop up with the type of goal he scored against Newcastle in matches that aren't already settled.
He'll get more minutes (if not a start or two) before this season's out, but all eyes for Fabio Borini will be on the next campaign--how does he fit, where does he feature, and what does he add?