GUS POYET insists new signing Ricky Alvarez is NOT a like-for-like replacement for Fabio Borini.
Sunderland turned to on-loan Inter Milan attacking midfielder Alvarez at the end of the transfer window after their summer-long chase for Liverpool frontman Borini came to nought.
But even after Sunderland agreed a loan deal for Alvarez, Black Cats boss Poyet still wanted to bring last year’s joint top scorer Borini back to the Stadium of Light.
And while Alvarez is likely to operate in the same left-sided forward role where Borini made most of his appearances for Sunderland last season, Poyet says the Argentine international is a different kind of player.
Poyet said today: “I think people will think that Ricky is the substitute for Borini, but for me he is not.
“It’s different opinions, I don’t think it’s right or wrong.
“Ricky is a player who is exciting on the ball and will create things on his own.
“But he’s not a top scorer.
“Either we make him into a top scorer, or we can’t say he’s a replacement.
“I think it’s unfair on both players. Of course he’s going to be playing in a position that Fabio played in last year, but it doesn’t mean he was a substitute for Fabio Borini.”
He added: “We were looking for a striker with the ability to play wide.
“More and more in the world, you can find players who adapt to that position who can come into the box from the diagonal and give you a presence in the box.
“Whereas wingers get in the box once every three months.
“Now we’ve got a few wingers that when they’re playing, they need to get in the box because we’ve lost that option.
“It would have been easier with Fabio because we knew he could do that job.”
Reflecting at the end of a transfer window which saw nine players arrive at the Stadium of Light, Poyet says he was content with Sunderland’s business.
“We were expecting to have a certain number of players and we were very close to a couple of important things,” he added.
“Then we changed a bit slightly and got different players.
“We tried our best and what we got was the best we could do.”