It's been a rough summer for Fabio Borini. Though he was courted all summer by Sunderland, with Queens Park Rangers and a vague interest from Italy joining the pursuit towards the end of the transfer window, Borini stayed firm that he wanted to try and have a go at Liverpool this season. His choice was divisive, with many fans hurling abuse at the player for denying the club £14m they didn't really need at that exact moment.
But Borini seems to thrive on Haterade™ — favouriting negative tweets directed his way — and unfortunately for those who wished he'd be a Black Cat rather than a Red this season, Borini's career goals can only happen on Merseyside.
"In the summer, there was a lot of talk," Borini told Gianluca Di Marzio. "There weren’t big misunderstandings, my wish is to play in a top club and Liverpool is a top club. There have never been real problems, I know what my goals are and how I can reach them. Staying at Liverpool was one of them. I’m in a great team that tries to win every competition and that’s what I want.
"If I stayed at Liverpool it’s because I think I could compete. Of course, there are excellent players here, but you can’t win all the competitions with weak ones. I want to turn the great competition into an advantage and improve day after day."
Borini's insistence on staying at Liverpool has turned into a silver lining on the eternally darkened cloud that is Daniel Sturridge's participation with the English national team. With Sturridge out, Borini's presence gives Liverpool another option at the front in addition to the club's other out and out strikers, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert. With the extent of Sturridge's injury still unknown, Borini has an opportunity to get a good run and achieve some of the goals he's set for himself.
"This year, I’d like to improve compared to what I’ve done in the past," he explained. "So I want to score more than ten goals. And, especially, I want to be called up in the national team. I want to take back what I want and what I think I deserve, also in a top team. Not simply how I did on loan in the last years. I was at ease at Sunderland. I had an excellent season, we avoided relegation in an incredible way. I scored 10 goals, it’s never easy in Premier League. I want to prove myself at Liverpool too."
Whether he'll get enough game time to score more than ten goals this season remains to be seen, but he can get off to a good start with a hat trick against Aston Villa should Brendan Rodgers include him in the starting lineup.