Report: Sunderland new boy Fabio Borini to be utilised in a central role this season

Sunderland Stadium of Light

The 24-year old joined the Black Cats from Anfield this summer.

The Sunderland Echo claim new Sunderland signing Fabio Borini will be deployed in a central role this season, as opposed to the wide areas he has become accustomed to.

A behind-closed-doors friendly game with Hartlepool United over the international break was a chance for Dick Advocaat to cast his eye over the Italian - and he is thought to have impressed leading the line in a 4-3-3 formation.

Borini’s first spell with Sunderland - on loan in the 2013-14 campaign - saw him deployed as a wide man more often than not. But the former Liverpool man has made no secret of his preference for a central role.

His inclusion could be significant given Advocaat’s assertion last month that Jermain Defoe can’t play as a lone striker.

"I still think, as a striker, he can’t do that on his own… maybe with two but not on his own," said the Dutchman, as quoted in the Echo’s report.

The Black Cats' woeful start has been somewhat tempered in their last two games and Advocaat will be looking to push on once the Premier League returns this weekend.

At his disposal will be new boy Borini who was loved during his first spell at the Stadium of Light - in which he grabbed 7 goals in 32 appearances - and the Sunderland fans will be hoping for more of the same this time around.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch