Sunderland’s saviour Fabio Borini says “anything is possible” next season as he waits to decide on his future, writes MARK DOUGLAS.
In a turn of events that Gustavo Poyet has hailed as a “miracle”, the Black Cats achieved safety with a game to spare on Wednesday by beating West Brom – and brilliant Borini was once again in the thick of things.
He notched a wonderful second goal for Sunderland in the defeat of the Baggies which was his sixth of the season. All of those have come at important points for Sunderland, including two in Tyne-Wear derbies and the strike that opened the scoring in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
Poyet would dearly love to re-sign him on loan next season but Borini has spoken about going back to Liverpool to fight for his place at Anfield. He will wait for that situation to be resolved but he has not ruled out returning to Wearside if Brendan Rodgers decides he is surplus to requirements.
Crucially, Borini has found his feet in English football at the Stadium of Light and has enjoyed “every second” of his time on Wearside. When asked about his future he was honest enough to confess that it remained unclear, but a bond has been created between player and club.
“It depends on what Liverpool say. I can’t say. I can say nothing now because anything is possible,” he said.
“There is a World Cup coming up so a lot depends on the national team and whether I am selected, then see what is happening.
“I have enjoyed every second, not every minute. It has been great from the fans, the city and everyone in the club, the love and friendship that they give me through the season has been incredible.”
Borini was branded a £10.5million flop after failing to win a regular first-team place following his move from Roma but he has illustrated his class this season – and proved a few of the doubters wrong.
The striker said: “It has been a great season. I’ve had 38 or 40 games after a season when I was injured. It was a hard season and the hardest I’ve ever had because we have been constantly fighting, but this builds your character.”
The 23-year-old has already spoken of his desire to return to Liverpool and with the Reds set for their first Champions League campaign since 2010, they will need a larger squad to cope with the battle on four fronts.
Whether being an understudy will be acceptable to a player who has had a taste of the limelight is unclear, but Borini admits it is out of his hands.
He said: “Yes, they do need a bigger squad because you can’t play four competitions with the same 11 players. But it is now down to the Liverpool point of view and their sporting director. It is not down to my words.”
Borini is still hoping to make it into Italy’s World Cup squad, along with team-mate Emanuele Giaccherini. He says he will be full of confidence if he is picked.
Cesare Prandelli is set to announce his preliminary squad on May 13.
He said: “That is another target which comes on the back of this season. I really hope I go because it would be a great achievement after playing all season with Sunderland. It is not like playing with Juventus, or the bigger clubs in Europe, so it makes it even more of an achievement if it happens.
“It has been hard playing abroad, which is never easy. Playing with Sunderland, not every game is on TV, but I guess the national team boss will know all my statistics and playing minutes and that won’t be a problem. Italy are always monitoring us.”