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Sunderland were rinsed by Fabio Borini

Sunderland’s tragic tale of relegation created many villains, with many sucking the club of all its resources as it continued to plummet.

However, in the run-up to that fateful demotion, plenty of heroes were made too.

Could Borini have done more to keep Sunderland up?





Jermaine Defoe stood out as their goal-scoring hero, whilst Yann M’Vila and Younes Kaboul were heralded for their defensive displays.

It was Fabio Borini whose first season suggested he might join these familiar characters, but ultimately will go down as another disappointment.

The Italian forward was brought in for £10m in 2015 as Liverpool looked to cash in, with the 31-year-old having disappointed at Anfield.

He had scored just three times in 38 appearances but showed glimpses of a skillset that clearly interested Dick Advocaat.

In his first season at the Stadium of Light, he managed five goals and two assists in just 26 Premier League games. It marked a solid return, with some of his goals being crucial to their survival.

However, his form would drop as dramatically as it did on Merseyside, and the Italy international would oversee back-to-back relegations whilst he remained on his £60k-per-week wages.

He became yet another player who offered little but drained the club of its resources.

The attacker scored twice as they were relegated from the Premier League during the 2016/17 campaign, and would leave the club for AC Milan despite his value having nosedived from the £7.2m when he first signed to just £4.5m.

They only had to spend £5.3m for his services, marking a tiny return on their significant outlay.

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Borini now plays his football in the Turkish Super Lig for Karagumruk, marking the true demise of a career that promised much when he was at Liverpool.

Just three goals in 21 appearances last season suggests that his form has never truly recovered, but when the Black Cats needed him most was when he seemed at his lowest.

He cost the club plenty, and other than a promising opening season gave little back. Sunderland are still paying for his lack of a contribution today, as they struggle towards a potential promotion from the Championship.