BRENDAN Rodgers has reiterated that Fabio Borini will have a part to play at Liverpool next season, despite fresh reports that the former Sunderland loanee could be allowed to leave Anfield.
Borini was back in Liverpool colours in yesterday’s post-season friendly at Shamrock Rovers, with the Italian netting the second goal for the Merseysiders in a 4-0 win.
There has been renewed speculation today that Liverpool could sanction Borini’s sale this summer - a possibility which would put Sunderland on red alert, with Black Cats boss Gus Poyet keen to re-sign the 23-year-old after a hugely successful season-long loan at the Stadium of Light.
But Liverpool manager Rodgers has stressed that Borini will add “quality” to the club’s ranks next season, as they face the added demands of the Champions League.
“I thought he was excellent (yesterday)” said Rodgers, who spent £11million to sign Borini two years ago after previously working with the striker at Chelsea and Swansea.
“We had Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez last year. We didn’t have European football and Luis is so robust, he plays every minute of every game and he is a world-class striker.
“So I felt for Fabio’s development that he should go on loan. It was nothing to do with me not thinking that he is a quality player. I know him better than anyone.
“He needed to go out and get games to prove his worth and get experience. He’s done that. He has come back a year later and you can see his pace, power and ability to get goals.
“He is going to add to the quality that we already have.”
Borini was voted Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year after finishing joint top of the club’s scoring charts with 10 goals.
And the former Roma striker believes being involved in the relegation scrap with Sunderland has helped his development.
“I learned more about the game, to wait and adapt during the game,” he said.
“Before, I found that more difficult; I was starting the game one way and finishing the same.
“Now I can change my game and adapt to what is actually happening on the pitch, which is really important to mature.
“It has been great. It was a little bit hard at the beginning, because we were fighting all the time. We managed to get out of that situation and it was a great feeling.”