GUS POYET is hoping Fabio Borini adds to his growing catalogue of big-match goals in the final four games of the season, and has revealed he would recommend the attacker to any club in Europe.
Borini, who was unveiled as Sunderland’s young player of the year, voted for by Sunderland Supporters’ Association last night, scored his seventh goal of the campaign to hand Sunderland three points at Chelsea last weekend, holding his nerve to roll home from the penalty spot.
The Italian has also netted against Newcastle, Manchester United and Manchester City this term, and with Poyet set to name an unchanged midfield and attack for Sunday’s relegation battle with Cardiff, there will be pressure on him to prove equally effective as the Black Cats fight to remain in the top-flight.
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With his current loan deal due to expire next month, Borini’s future beyond the end of the season remains uncertain.
Brendan Rodgers intends to take a look at the 23-yearold in pre-season training, but with Liverpool expected to be active in the transfer market as they prepare for a return to the Champions League, there is speculation that Borini will be moved on permanently in the next transfer window.
Sunderland would love to be in a position to sign him, but that looks unlikely given the way in which Borini’s reputation has flourished.
Poyet will remain a fan no matter what happens this summer, and has pledged to provide a glowing reference if other managers want an assessment of Borini’s worth.
“He’s got everything that you need as a professional football player,” said the Sunderland boss. “It’s a pleasure to have him at the club. I would recommend him to anyone in the world because he’s a top, top professional.
“You can have a discussion about what is his best position, and you can like him more or less as a player (in certain roles). He can play up front or wide, and they are decisions that we make. But as a professional, he’s an absolute pleasure to have around.”
On the evidence of this season’s results, it would be wrong to take anything for granted. But having looked dead and buried before last week’s trip to Manchester City, at least the last two results have given Sunderland a fighting chance of survival.
“We’ve got some points that we desperately needed,” said Borini. “With just four games left, we can really believe now. We’ve never given up.”