Liverpool have undoubtedly the most dangerous strike force in the Premier League in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and have just completed the signing of England striker Rickie Lambert but how the 23-year-old Fabio Borini compare?
Lambert is 32 years of age and 9 years the Italian’s senior. The England international made 37 appearances in the Premier League this term compared to Borini’s 32 for Sunderland.
Lambert scored 13 goals in the Premier League and made 10 assists which is superior to Borini’s seven goals and two assists for Sunderland. The comparison between the two is cumbersome due to the difference in age of the pair and the teams they were involved with last term – judging Borini’s performance across a loan spell at a bottom half of the table team against a top half of the table Southampton for whom Lambert was a key player.
However, there are some standout statistics - Borini’s pass completion rate was 76.6% to Lambert’s 69.7% which is some way behind Liverpool’s team average of 84.5%. Lambert averaged 2.8 shots per game on average to Borini’s 2.1 but, crucially, Borini was operating more or less the same level of accuracy with 50% of his shots on target to Lambert’s 51% for a team that undoubtedly created more chances across the season.
|Ontarget Scoring Att|
|Ontarget Scoring Att|
Lambert, surprisingly, won 40% of his aerial duels to Borini’s 44% for Southampton, although Lambert won more aerial duels per game on average with 1.8 per game to Borini’s 0.8 per game.
The elder of the pair made 1.5 key passes per game on average to Borini’s 0.8 but Borini was the far more confident in possession of the ball, achieving 0.9 dribbles per game to Lambert’s 0.2 and yet the youngster was disposed less than Lambert, 1.5 times per game on average to the Englishman’s 1.6 times per game. Borini was also fouled more often, resulting in free kicks awarded, 1.8 times per game to Lambert’s 0.5 times per game.
Overall, it’s impossible to conclude anything other than the two players are very different in terms of their functionality – what I can deduce is that Fabio Borini is arguably the better suited to Liverpool’s style of play under Brendan Rodgers but, that being said, I believe Lambert has been signed to provide an alternative option from that style, probably from the bench.