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Roker Roundup: Fabio Borini reveals career highlights, and is it Premier League or bust for Josh Maja?

Former Sunderland forwards are in the news today, with Borini, Maja and former Academy star Joe Hugill all making headlines.

Roker Roundup 20/21
Your daily reminder of Sunderland news!

Borini describes career highlights

Fabio Borini has made a good start to life in Turkey, scoring four goals in nine games for his new side Fatih Karagumurk.

In an interview with Italian outlet Calcio Mercato regarding his new club, Borini also looked back at his career highlights so far.

The ex-Sunderland forward said two particular moments stand out. One of which was a winning goal against Holland for Italy in the under-21 European Championship Semi-Final:

The goal against Holland, I always remember it. It was the under-21 European Championship and my goal allowed us to reach the final.

Football-wise and emotionally it was a very strong moment, which you don’t really remember at the time. But if you dig a little bit it makes you feel the ants in your legs, not so much the shivers as the emotion.

The other was Sunderland’s great escape under Gus Poyet, with the 29-year-old explaining that the following post-season was the one he enjoyed the most in his career due to the club’s escape from relegation:

The other one is the salvation with Sunderland, a really incredible moment. We were in an almost impossible position in the table, all the way through it was strong.

I remember those were the holidays I enjoyed the most because I was charged up from the whole season.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Permanent move on the cards for Maja

Josh Maja marked his full debut for Fulham by bagging a brace in a 2-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park over the weekend.

The former Sunderland striker joined the London club on loan from Bordeaux during the January transfer window and Fulham boss Scott Parker believes he may stay at the club even if they are to be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.

Speaking to West London Sport ahead of last night’s 1-1 draw at Burnley, Parker says that unlike Maja’s fellow loanees at Craven Cottage (Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ola Aina, Alphonse Areola, Joachim Andersen, Ademola Lookman and Mario Lemina), Maja may not return to his parent club:

I’m not sure with Josh, the deal is a little bit different there. I think we do have an option on that.

That will come down to where we see that as a football club and also Josh, probably.

Certainly Josh was someone we liked, I liked, and that was why we put that into the deal. We’ll cross that bridge nearer the time.

Everton v Fulham - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Hugill discusses Man Utd move

Sunderland academy product Joe Hugill has made a sensational start to life at Manchester United since arriving at Old Trafford at the summer as the 17-year-old tops the goalscoring charts in Premier League 2.

Hugill recently spoke to Secret Scout about his rapid rise and discussed how he did not enjoy his short period in the Newcastle United academy but described his time at Sunderland as ‘mint’:

I’ve got two older brothers who just played football and I grew up with them playing in the garden and on the street. I got into the academy system and I never looked back really.

[My first team] was Newcastle. I think I was seven and I was there for a year. I was just one of the few lucky ones who got picked up.

I wasn’t really enjoying it and as a young kid, all you want to do is play football and enjoy it. If you’re not enjoying it, then what’s the point of being there? Sunderland came in and I was there for seven to eight years.

Especially being a Sunderland fan, having grown up watching them at the Stadium of Light [my] whole life, it was mint. You think of them being a Premier League team and it’s sad [seeing them now].

I was just enjoying my football. I knew more people at Sunderland as well because I [lived] closer and played against people in the Russell Foster Leagues. It was big for me, playing at Sunderland was massive.

Being one of many youngsters to seek a career elsewhere recently, Hugill revealed that Manchester United was the right club for him to progress and pointed to the more attacking style that the club utilise, rather than the defensive tactics that he was used to at the Academy of Light:

The opportunity to play for United was just crazy. You’ve got to think about your football. United suited my style. At Sunderland, it was quite defensive, but United is attack, attack, attack. As a forward, scoring goals, [in this team], it comes like an instinct. It is still quite northern as well.

We just felt Man United was the right club and I never looked back! Playing for a club like Man United is every kid’s dream.

Signing felt as surreal as anything. It was quite tough because it was during COVID as well. You knew what was happening but then you were always thinking ‘When are we going to get down and get started?’

Liverpool U18 v Sunderland U18 - U18 Premier League Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images