Liverpool today announced the signing of Italian international and former Chelsea youth player Fabio Borini. The fee is supposedly around £7.5 to £12 million depending on what you read and who you believe.
Brendan Rodgers has made his first signing, a player he knows well from his time at both Chelsea and Swansea and although only 21 years old he’s said to have a fantastic football brain, something at times last season Anfield missed dearly. The question I’m asking though is split up into two parts, the first being; is Borini the player we want? The second, is Borini a player we NEED?
To answer the first question straight off and bluntly, no, he’s not the player we want. Let me be clear though to avoid reactionary backlash, this is absolutely not a early jibe at him before he’s had a moment to show us first hand what he can do, it is in fact stating the obvious that fans of Liverpool want to see top class players at the club. I mean the calibre of Llorente, Van Persie or David N’Gog(OBVIOUSLY A JOKE!!!). Big names, big game players, the kind of player that will sell shirts on reputation alone. Liverpool Football Club though is in no position to acquire that kind of player right now, a lack of Champions League football and a rebuild in progress isn’t something that will entice those who want Premier League titles sooner rather than later. I refuse as a fan of the club to blindly think that in our current state any player in world football would want to play at Anfield, of course I can dream of what we might become my feet are firmly on the ground. While Borini is a fantastic prospect, that is exactly what he is, he’s not a world beater or a gamer changer at the moment, he’s a fantastic prospect with ability to excel at the highest level, but give him time.
So I’ve claimed he’s not what we want and you’re free to disagree, but I do think he’s EXACTLY the sort of player we need. It’s time to delve into some stats, because we know how good our signings have been when they’ve come into play…
As you can see from this little table I’ve made Mr Borini last season had an outstanding goals per shot record, outstanding at least compared to Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. This clinical finishing ‘attitude’ is something we craved last season week in week out. Under Rodgers you get the impression that it won’t be, ‘how many chances can we create.’ It’ll be, ‘what sort of chances are we going to create’.
I keep hearing the stat, ‘We had more shots than every other Premier League team last season!’ Bloody fantastic that isn’t it. We finished 8th. I don’t care how many shots we’ve had at the end of the season, I care about how many points we have in relation to other teams. We had 3 more shots than Manchester City last season you know, that’s good isn’t it!? No, no it’s not, because we finished THIRTY SEVEN POINTS behind them in the league. We’ve been crying out for someone to put all of our chances away and maybe just maybe that’s what we now have.
Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea side had 171 less shots than we did last year, and before you say, ‘But Ben, we love all of these stats you’re coming out with etc etc they make you look really intelligent and good looking, just one thing though, they wouldn’t have as much of the play as a team like Liverpool!’
They made over 2000 more passes than we did.
A Rodgers side holds the ball, it waits for the right moments, there is no rush, no panic, the system will always stay the same. The plan B is never to lump it up to the front man and win a flick on, it’ll be to have 4 men make runs opposed to the 2 that were before. Next year we’ll have to get used to dominating teams in a way we’ve not seen before. Quite frankly I’m excited. Fabio Borini is the start of this Liverpool project and more will follow, they will be what the team needs, not what we think we want.
Thanks for reading and do leave you opinion on our new signing!
@DoctorBenjy on twitter