If starting the season with five goalless performances in the Premier League weren’t enough, Fabio Borini went and got himself injured during an Italy U-21 training session, breaking his leg and leaving Liverpool with only one striker.
It’s not like Brendan Rodgers hasn’t realized that starting with Borini as one of his wingers isn’t working, benching the young Italian while giving Luis Suarez the spot in the middle while putting two more natural wingers on the wings (Raheem Sterling and Suso). But having just one striker in his squad, which he knew was going to be a problem once Andy Carroll was loaned out to West Ham and no one came in to replace him, seems a bit too risky.
Especially when that striker is the most important player on the team. Borini hasn’t really gotten plenty of chances to play in the middle of the box like he did in Italy, scoring nine league goals for Roma last season, triggering a £10.5 million purchase by the Reds. Like most Liverpool acquisitions in recent seasons, this one isn’t looking too good at the moment.
In a total of 11 matches, Borini has scored one goal, in Europe, during his Anfield debut, against Gomel. Not exactly the most inspiring record. That was back on the 9th of August. It’s not that he hasn’t scored since then. He hasn’t been playing well, positioned on the right wing. Maybe a decent performance against Manchester City was worth mentioning.
Liverpool have actually been playing better without him. He looked lost on the wing, ineffective and simply a player that doesn’t look up to the challenge of playing for an attacking side in the Premier League. Not that Liverpool in general have looked that good, but things have been going a bit better in recent weeks, managing two (!!) consecutive matches without losing and winning for the first time this season.
Is Borini a bust? Too soon to tell, but so far, things aren’t looking up for the young Italian. Sometimes all you need is a bit of luck and everything, including the outside perspective and opinion on him, changes. So far, he hasn’t been having that luck, and will have to wait a couple of months at the least before we can witness a turnaround.