Fabio Borini's Sunderland stay may not be as brief as most of us think, provided the club's Premier League survival is secured.
The Italian is currently on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool and has become a massive fan-favourite on Wearisde following a string of performances bursting with full-blooded commitment and a dash of genuine quality. It has always been rather assumed that he will be very much a temporary addition, though, and the club haven't really mentioned anything to get anyone's hopes up it could be more - until now.
Gus Poyet told the Sunderland Echo:
Borini is an important player and he will be important to us if we stay in the Premier League and are able to keep him.
He’s the perfect character to have in a group of players these days – he’s the perfect professional, always positive.
As good as it sounds, it still remains tough to envisage Borini being a Sunderland player next season, even if the survival fight is successful.
Perhaps that pessimism is from too many years of seeing good loaned players come and go, but the player himself seems to have loftier ambitions than Sunderland could currently offer and is held in high enough regard within the game to attract a club who can.
I'm afraid this is one dream I dare not allow myself to have.