Fabio Borini believes that being embroiled in a relegation battle at Sunderland will make him a better player ahead of his return to Liverpool next season.

The Italian international joined the Black Cats on loan for the 2013/14 campaign last summer amid concerns he may struggle for playing time with the Reds.

Borini has enjoyed a fine season at the Stadium of Light, and played a key role in Gus Poyet’s side’s run to the Capital One Cup final – in which he netted the club’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to Manchester City at Wembley.

However Sunderland’s league form has been less than impressive, leaving them three points adrift of safety with 11 fixtures remaining.

The 22-year-old has already talked up a return to Liverpool when his temporary spell in the North East comes to an end, with the Merseysiders likely to need greater squad depth with Champions League qualification looking more and more likely as the weeks pass.

The skilful striker says that he feels he has developed as a player at Sunderland, and that he is keen to help his current side avoid relegation:

“I’ve always fought for a European place or titles and never been involved in a relegation fight.” He is quoted by the Daily Star.

“It’s not easy and a totally different tension.

“But you learn so much in the hard times, it is a good experience.

“We’ve got up to three games in hand so we can control what happens to us a little bit more than our rivals.

“They will take us one way or the other. But I’ve learnt that in this league, you never know until the last second.”