Fabio Borini did not enjoy the happiest of spells at Liverpool.
The former Italian international scored just three goals in 38 appearances for the Anfield club across a three year spell – one of those years being spent on loan at Sunderland – before finally making a permanent move to the North-East in 2015.
Borini was once a favourite of ex-Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. The pair worked together when Rodgers was a coach at Chelsea, and again when he took the 25 year old on loan during Swansea’s promotion season in 2010/11.
Therefore, when Rodgers signed Borini at Liverpool from Roma for £11.3m in 2012, it seemed that the working relationship was set to continue to blossom.
However, an injury-riddled season and the January signing of Daniel Sturridge soon rendered Borini surplus to requirements, freeing him to go on loan at Sunderland in 2013.
Despite Liverpool accepting offers from Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers following the loan spell, Borini refused to leave and insisted on staying to fight for his place – a decision that irritated Rodgers who was looking to free up the squad space.
The decision is one that Borini soon came to regret, as he made just twelve league appearances – scoring once – in a Liverpool side that struggled badly for goals in the absence of the departed Luis Suárez and injured Daniel Sturridge.
— IG : Anfield_Bible (@AnfieldBible) June 8, 2015
Relations between player and manager became so strained that by the end, Borini – along with fellow outcasts José Enrique and Mario Balotelli – was not invited on the pre-season tour and had to remain at Melwood for training.
The acrimony involved in Borini’s last season and subsequent departure have left a bad taste in his mouth, and he has revealed to the Guardian just what it has done to his relationship with Rodgers.
“We don’t speak anymore. It’s sad. It ended badly between me and [Rodgers], it’s not what I wanted.”
On his (eventual) departure from Liverpool and his happiness in his new surroundings:
“I’m a proud person,
“But after a while I understood there was no future there and knew I just needed to accept it. Training alone was the hardest thing but they were pushing me away, forcing me to make the decision to go.
“Maybe I didn’t get as many opportunities as I deserved but the world doesn’t end when you leave Liverpool and now I’m very happy here. I’ve had too many clubs, too many changes, so I want to stay at Sunderland, to have some stability.”
Borini has scored four goals in 22 Premier League games this season as Sam Allardyce’s side desperately look to keep their heads above water in the battle for survival.