Is Fabio Borini the player we want?

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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!

Ben Carr

@DoctorBenjy on twitter


  1. He is exactly the player I want at Liverpool.. Young, hungry and full of potential, just like the manager. I want a ‘team’ not a group of expensive superstars

  2. I’m really excited! I feel that the nucleus we have is really promising. BR is a footballing coach and with a few tweaks can make us play the way spain/barca play! It’s not difficult It’s not complicated either. The man with the ball is the “last man” everyone else plays infront of him (whoever he maybe) When u lose the ball, “u double up” and attain it ASAP within 5 sec of giving up possession, the rest which is the most difficult part, making space in intelligent places, something most footballing associations don’t do enough of!
    The key to this philosophy is attaining possession once lost! U need players that are hungry, willing to do the dirty work, selfless and aggressive!!! Borini from what I hear, I have not seen personally, fits into BR personality profile.
    Players are important but not more than “total football” for this u need intelligence! YNWA

  3. Caliber of David N’gog? A player that got relegated with Bolton after we dumped him? I accept that as a typo. Its obvious we can’t attract the Llorentes or Cavanis, and if at all we can, we’d have to fling cash which is not the LFC way as it seems. I believe we can still sign at least one top player before the window closes. Great article

  4. Make sense, good article.
    If he is some one Rodgers knows well then the risk is minimized.
    Just hope he could adapt to EPL style.

  5. …fans of Liverpool want to see top class players at the club. I mean the calibre of Llorente, Van Persie or David N’Gog???? Did you really put Van Persie and David N’Gog in the same sentence?? Is that a typo???

  6. Couldn’t agree more! I think it’s a fantastic first signing and I’m excited about the new season.

  7. That is a shots per goal percenatge in the bottom row of the table. The way it is written reads that Carroll has the best percentage and that is definately not correct. Haha However, I did enjoy reading the article :)

  8. ” 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. Big names, big game players, the kind of player that will sell shirts on reputation alone…..”

    David N’Gog? Lol. I hope it is a typo.

  9. Ben
    Your table is incorrect. What you have posted makes it look like Suarez and Carroll both score more goals per shot. You have Fabio scoring with 4% of his shots when really it is more like 25%

    Some good points though

  10. Think you should check your percentages, Borina has scored over 20% goals to shots! Oooooops

  11. Your stat should be shots/goal, mate. Just a nitpick, I know, but it took me a second to understand the relevance of your statistic in the way you presented. As to your analysis, I think it’s spot on. He is a player who knows Rodgers’ system and has benefited from it in the past. In addition, this could be beneficial for Aquilani bc he now has a kindred spirit in the camp.

  12. Like the article …has a lot of truth in it ….just like some others …the N’gog name seems a little out of place

  13. One or two errors but essentially Borini is a poacher who operates in and around the box, that is what we needed. We have missed someone to score the scruffy tap-in’s, now that is sorted let’s get Dempsey in ASAP!!!

  14. You cannot compare stats as Borini played in a completely different league. The EPL goes in for hard bundling off the ball tactics and the Italian league is more prone to the stand-off approach with albeit some hard tackles but not to the extent of the EPL. Compare after they have all played in the same league…..end of.

    1. So do we discount everything Messi and Ronaldo achieved this year because it wasn’t in the Premier League, I guess it’s all relative, what I’m really looking at is how clinical the striker is when faced with a shot a goal.

  15. The writer of this a clown, clearly doesn’t understand that right now we haven’t the money or pull to bring in these players and so we have to get the next best thing, the players that will be top class in the near future, players whom at only 21 can still be moulded into the ideal fit for our team.

    Also 10 goals out of 48 games is more like 22%, better than Carroll and Suarez and simply proves how silly a man this writer is!

    1. A clown? Harsh don’t you think, especially when you consider I wrote THIS ‘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.’ It’s almost like I do in fact understand the situation and you just didn’t read the article properly.

  16. Firstly: David Ngog !?!

    Secondly: Your maths is wrong:

    From those stats 20.83% of Borini’s shots were goals. 10.63% of Suarez’s shots were goals and just 7.5% of Carroll’s shots were goals.

    However with the numerous mistkaes in this article I’m not sure I trust those stats !

    1. Nice to see you’ve followed me since school Mr Smith? I got the goals per shot, shots per goal bit wrong, and I will NEVER make the mistake again. Thanks for the lesson on Algebra in year 9 by the way :)

  17. Good read Ben; though I must say FB is the player we need & the player we want as well, specially anyone of his caliber for 10mn or so only compared to donkey Carroll is most welcome.

    However, I feel we are too obsessed with Spain, Barca & tiki-taka. First of all this is England & on much heavier & wet grounds, with more physical opponents & reluctant referees, I am not sure how much we ‘ll be able to replicate tiki-taka. Then there are not many quality players in this LFC squad who can play possession-passing game.

    I think, we ‘ll have to play a modified tiki-taka version with in between, few long passes & floaters from wings. Either ways, FB could develop into an outstanding player & being Italian he must be good in track-back.

    Welcome to the family kid.

  18. am just really worried for andy Carrol i really dont want him to go or loaned or would then turn out to be liverpool’s loss..BR should keep him as plan B

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