Fabio Borini’s time at Liverpool didn’t go especially well. He arrived one of manager Brendan Rodgers’ two hand picked targets in his first summer in charge but injuries and struggles in front of goal led to his quickly falling down the depth chart. A pair of difficult seasons at Liverpool sandwiched a successful loan spell at Sunderland.
They also highlighted a stubbornness in the striker, as the Black Cats offered to take Borini full time after the 2013-14 season only for the Italian to refuse to move, hoping he could build off his loan season and still make a career on Merseyside. He couldn’t, and a year later he finally agreed his permanent move to Sunderland. So far, the results haven’t been great.
"Obviously goals give you a little bit of confidence, but at the end of the day all that matters is the result," said Borini, who scored his first two goals of the season in Sunderland’s last two games—a pair of losses to Chelsea and Manchester City. "I’d like to score against Liverpool. More than anyone else. I’ve said everything I want to already about my time there."
Borini has made ten appearances in the league this season and missed four games through injury. His two goals make for a disappointing return—one for every 357 minutes he’s been on the pitch, or very nearly a goal in every four games of action. He’s hardly the only Sunderland player to struggle, and the Black Cats are strong relegation favourites.
That Sunderland might end up in the Championship was widely suggested as the reason Borini dug in his heels over a permanent move, but so far since joining them full time he hasn’t done anything to suggest his level is very much different than that of the rest of his struggling teammates, and on current form, that’s almost certainly where they will be next year.
"We’re not starting games well," added Borini. "We need to focus on the first halves and make sure we’re still in the game in the second half. When you give the first half away against the big teams, they take their chances. That’s the most important thing. [We have to] forget Saturday and make sure we’re ready for Wednesday night."