AS Roma

A Look at Marco Borriello's Inconsistent Career in Italy

AS Roma forward Marco Borriello reacts after Cagliari forward Mostapha El Kabir, of Morocco, not seen, scored during a Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Cagliari, at Rome's Olympic stadium, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. Cagliari won 2-1. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Riccardo De Luca/Associated Press
Matteo BonettiContributor IJanuary 24, 2014

Marco Borriello's career in Italy could be defined by one word—inconsistency.

From long dry patches without a goal to being near the Capocannoniere title with a flurry of hat-tricks and braces, Borriello was never able to cement a place with a squad for more than a few years.

It's perhaps this nomadic type of career that never really allowed him to reach his full potential.

A rare appearance for Borriello under Rudi Garcia
A rare appearance for Borriello under Rudi GarciaAndrew Medichini/Associated Press

The latest rumors are certain that he will be joining English club West Ham United over the weekend, ending his time on Roma's desolate bench.

Perhaps West Ham is just the type of situation Borriello needs to reignite a promising career despite being 31 years old.

The Italian striker has plenty of talent and can be a serviceable No. 9 in the right system. He works well in a 4-3-3 when the wing players provide him with a steady stream of crosses which he's able to feast on. Borriello is surprisingly technical despite his lumbering appearance, and thrives on bizarre left-footed volleys and headers.

While he isn't a natural finisher, he has plenty of power in his left foot and can score from outside the box as well.

Borriello scoring a left-footed volley
Borriello scoring a left-footed volleyANTONIO CALANNI/Associated Press

His best year came in the 2007-08 season with Genoa, when the recently promoted squad took a chance on Milan's misfiring striker. Borriello repaid their confidence by scoring an astounding 19 goals domestically, leading Genoa to a comfortable mid-table position.

Two seasons later, he finally had his chance with Milan and scored 14 goals in Serie A—a respectable tally, but ultimately he wasn't deemed to be the true difference maker that could lift the club in the Champions League.

He has since bounced around Serie A. Two more seasons with double-digit goal tallies would ensue, but he once again found a spot on the bench waiting for him at Roma, a club that has deemed him as surplus under new coach Rudi Garcia.

West Ham are in a far different situation than Roma, as they are fully entrenched in a relegation battle after starting the season poorly. Coach Sam Allardyce can expect Borriello to give him a bit more than someone like Andy Carroll, and the Italian could really thrive from the right service on the wings if the London outfit play to his strengths.

In the end, Borriello will be looking for more playing time as he approaches the twilight of his career. While he has had his moments, he will go down as another unfulfilled promise considering his potential.

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