LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers has reaffirmed his faith in new Sunderland signing Fabio Borini, despite having a change of heart over a loan move for the striker.
Borini completed a season-long loan switch to the Stadium of Light on Monday after falling down the pecking order at Anfield, following the arrival of fellow frontmen Daniel Sturridge, Coutinho, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Victor Moses.
Rodgers had insisted last week that Borini, who had two lengthy lay-offs with foot and shoulder problems last season, would not be sent out on loan, amid interest from Italian giants Lazio.
But the chance for Borini to develop under fellow countryman Paolo Di Canio on Wearside tempted Rodgers to give the go-ahead to the loan, although he will be keeping a close eye on the £10.5million man during his stint with the Black Cats.
“It’s just to get games. He had a stop-start season last year with his injuries and I just felt this year he needed to go and play football,” said Rodgers.
“With Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Iago Aspas and some of the other attacking players, that might have been limited.
“I have a real belief in Fabio - he is a talent and we’ve seen that on occasions, but he needs to be playing regularly to demonstrate that talent.
“We had a host of clubs wanting to take him, but with Sunderland having the Italian connection there and being a big club where he can go and play, I’m sure he’ll get the chance to shine and we’ll look closely at his development this year.”
Rodgers’ comments will reiterate the likelihood of Borini returning to Merseyside when his loan move expires.
There is not thought to be any clause in the ex-Roma striker’s loan contract to convert it into a permanent move.
And even if Borini proves to be a success at Sunderland, he is likely to follow in the footsteps of former loan success stories Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck and Danny Rose by returning to his parent club.