Is There a Future for Fabio Borini at Liverpool?
The revolving doors at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground continue to see far more entrances than exits.
Three arrivals in the space of four days over the past week have got the cameras clicking, the press talking and the supporters plotting just how Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet will aid the Reds’ push for improvement.
But whilst there is inevitably so much attention over this summer’s signings, what about Liverpool’s vintage of 2012?
When Brendan Rodgers arrived at Anfield last summer, there was so much going on behind the scenes at the club that the new manager’s hand was somewhat forced over transfers.
With the club’s new scouting department not yet in place and those in the background seemingly learning on the job, Rodgers decided to rely upon players that he knew well for his two biggest purchases. Familiarity was key.
Welsh midfielder Allen featured heavily as the Reds sought and often struggled to make their presence felt in the opening half of the campaign, and whilst he looks certain to take his place back in the squad when he recovers from injury in time for preseason, the future fortunes of attacker Borini look less certain due to the new arrivals.
Alberto and Aspas have joined other recent recruits Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho at the club, and whilst there are still huge question marks dangling over the future of the relationship between Luis Suarez and Liverpool, Borini’s position at the club is sure to be considered.
The Italian had a nightmare of a first season.
Injuries decimated his opening campaign at Anfield, as an ankle problem picked up against Manchester United, a much more serious broken bone in his foot when on Italy Under-21 duty and then a dislocated shoulder against Swansea severely restricted his playing time.
He scored twice for Liverpool in 2012/13: once at the very start of the season in a Europa League qualifier against FC Gomel and once at the very end in the 6-0 win at Newcastle United.
For a £10 million forward, those numbers are hardly ideal. Yet, this summer Borini has shown signs of life.
Goals in the semi-finals and final of the European Under-21 Championships―a tournament that will have done him the power of good given his restricted season―earned him a place in the team of the tournament, and will have given the 22-year-old a huge injection of confidence ahead of the new campaign.
With his performances in Israel no doubt reawakening people to his potential, inevitable questions over his future at Liverpool followed, but the man himself was quick to shut those rumours down, as Nadia Carminati of Sky Sports reports.
A fully fit Borini would undoubtedly be an asset to Rodgers and Liverpool ahead of what looks to be somewhat of a defining 2013/14 campaign for the manager and the owners.
At 25, Aspas might be seen as a more established and experienced attacking option for Rodgers to turn to during matches, but Borini can offer several qualities too.
Indeed, those who witnessed his goals against the Netherlands and Spain in the Under-21 Euros will have seen finishes that Liverpool could have done with at several times last season and will no doubt need again in the future.
His immediate role at Anfield might well be restricted to that of a squad player, but he is well-suited as an option to climb off the bench when Liverpool need a goal to get them back into or ahead in a game.
Does he have a future at Liverpool? Of course he does.
And if he works hard on that future, then there’s no reason to think that he’ll be exiting through those Melwood revolving doors any time soon.
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