Fabio Borini, nurtured by Brendan Rodgers as a 16-year-old Chelsea apprentice, has returned to England as the new Liverpool manager's first summer capture.
Familiarity is important in football and Italian starlet Fabio Borini, who worked with the Liverpool gaffer as a youth star at Chelsea and on loan at Swansea, has swapped the Eternal City and an opportunity to work with Zdenek Zeman for Merseyside. Borini, 21, completed a medical at Melwood before signing a five-year contract in a deal worth almost €10 million.
Under Rodgers tutelage, Borini made his breakthrough with Chelsea reserves in 2007. The young star captained the reserves before being reunited with Rodgers at Swansea in 2011.
The Italian hitman scored six goals in nine matches for the Swans and also won a Wembley penalty in the Welsh outfits play off final victory over Blackpool. Borini did not to return to west London and before his memorable spell at the Liberty, but instead had already signed up for a loan stint at Parma.
Last season at Roma, Borini’s mercurial gameplay and attacking instincts were rewarded with 10 goals in 26 appearances. It was good enough for a call up to the national squad and earned the starlet an international debut in a friendly against the USA.
The Liverpool manager, who beat off competition from Carlo Ancelotti and Paris Saint-Germain, has paid glowing references and described his new charge as the “best physical player” he has worked with.
Rodgers told the clubs official website: “He’s a big talent, 21 years of age, he scores goals, and his passion, focus and concentration is a very important part of his game – and a big part of what you want from a player.”
He added, “I think the supporters will love him. He’s a multi-functional player who can play in a number of positions and someone I believe has got great growth.
“I’d anticipate that over the next two or three years he’ll really progress and I’m sure do very well for Liverpool.
“Mentally, he’s very strong. We’ve got a player who is on the up and someone who I think Liverpool will benefit from.”
Jan Molby is one of Liverpool's most celebrated playmakers and the great Dane has endorsed the transfer believing that Borini is integral to the style of play his manager demands.
Borini is looking forward to playing alongside Luis Suarez . Speaking to Liverpoolfc.tv he said: “A lot because he is maybe another player who is similar to me because he works very hard in every game. I've watched a few games, and all of Europe wants him. Every player wants to play with him, so it will be a pleasure.”
The 21-year-old is a live wire and is unlikely to be playing second fiddle to anyone at the club, be it as an attacking midfielder or as a foil for Luis Suarez.
It's an exciting acquisition and the Italian schemer is most likely to be immediately handed an central role to rubber stamp and choreograph Rodger's brand of play.
With the teenager now hopefully the finished article, Liverpool fans will dream that Borini's third stint working with Rodgers is a long and fruitful one.
- Borini joined Chelsea at the age of 16. As reserve striker he finished as top marksman, scoring 10 in 11 appearances.
- The Italian’s trademark goal celebration is the “knife between the teeth” routine, first seen by Swansea fans during a two goal debut against Nottingham Forest in 2011. “In Italy it means you've got the knife between your teeth,” he said, adding: "when you want to achieve something so badly that you are angry to reach your goals, you put the knife between your teeth."
- Apart from captaining Chelsea reserves Borini also led Italy in the 2010 European Championships.
- Cesare Prandelli named him in the Azzurri squad for Euro 2012. He did not make a finals appearance.
- His football hero is World Cup and Champions League winner Pippo Inzaghi.
- The new boy hails from Bentivoglio, a comune in the province of Emilia-Romagna, located about 15 km northeast of Bologna.