Liverpool FC: Where Will Fabio Borini Fit in with the Reds?
Brendan Rodgers was quick to praise his new acquisition. Via goal.com:
I've known him since he had just turned 16 years of age. He's a goal scorer, but he's a multifunctional player who can play in a number of positions.
The way I want to play is the Liverpool way. The game will be based around what Liverpool are about, which is control, dominating games with the ball, working very hard when you haven’t got the ball, keeping the game as simple as possible.
However, this begs a question: Where will Borini fit in at Liverpool?
Continue reading for a detailed analysis.
The False Nine
Here's a little introduction to this role.
The false nine is an unconventional forward who drops deep into midfield. This often creates a problem for opposing center-backs who can either follow him (leaving space behind them for opponents to exploit) or let him have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass.
Borini has little experience playing in this role, but in his time with Roma, he often dropped back to start attacks—a role similar to the one he could have at his new club.
However, there's one problem with this setup: Rodgers has rarely used the false nine in the past and he might not want to experiment a lot with the media and the fans constantly overlooking his work.
The new Liverpool No. 29 will probably have no problems playing in the left-forward position.
The Italian scored five goals in seven games playing in a left forward position last season—a clear indicator he's able to provide even in a less-central position.
Borini likes to cut inside from the left side of the pitch, sending in an accurate, powerful shot with his right foot.
However, Borini had little impact on the game when playing in a wide position, averaging only 0.7 key passes per game, according to eplindex.com. Even Andy Carroll, who had a disappointing club season, recorded more key passes per game last year (1.2).
Borini will have to be more involved in the buildup play if he is to succeed at Liverpool.
Photo by STRINGER Italy / Reuters/Reuters
Although Borini played in the right-forward position multiple times at Roma, it was obvious he is not the man for it. His crossing and passing abilities were poor and average at best, which usually resulted in a lot of needless fouls.
The 21-year-old likes to cut inside with his right foot, which is practically impossible from the almost-right-wing position. Borini showed glimpses of his imagination on the right wing, but questions remain if he is able to provide from this position.
Statistics will tell you Borini scored the least goals and his average match rating was the worst whenever he played this position.
All in all, Fabio Borini is definitely not the player who could solve Liverpool's right-wing problems.
Fabio Borini's preferred position is the centre forward.
The Italian forward is, above all, a lethal finisher—something Liverpool fans have long craved for.
However, the same could have been said for Luis Suarez before his arrival to Merseyside. Needless to say, Suarez's goal-scoring touch let him down since his switch to Liverpool—the explosive Uruguayan forward recorded only 15 goals in his 44 games for the Reds.
A decent, if not average, heading ability would not represent a problem for Borini since the tiki-taka style of play insists on short passes with the ball on the ground.
Nevertheless, there will probably be only one centre-forward position, meaning Suarez, Borini and Carroll will have to compete for it.
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