Liverpool legend John Aldridge believes Brendan Rodgers' best decision in the current campaign was to send Fabio Borini on a season-long loan to Sunderland last summer.
The 23-year-old's debut season at Anfield was marred by injuries, which saw him make only 13 Premier League appearances netting just one goal. With the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge available at Rodgers' disposal and the arrival of Iago Aspas, he was sent on loan to the Stadium of Light for the rest of this season.
Although Borini has not plunged many goals for the Wearside outfit, the striker netted the winner against Chelsea helping Sunderland to a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge last Saturday. The result handed Jose Mourinho's side a massive blow in the title race. Liverpool then went five points clear on top of the table with 80 points following their 3-2 triumph over Norwich City on Sunday.
Aldridge stresses that nobody could have foretold how Borini's goal could have helped his parent club gain an advantage in the title race. The 55-year-old insists that the Italian U21 international's performances for the relegation threatened side will certainly help him safeguard his future at Liverpool for the upcoming campaign.
"Of all the decisions Brendan Rodgers has got right this season, sending Fabio Borini on loan to Sunderland may just have proved the shrewdest of them all!" Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.
"You couldn't write a story like that; a lad on loan from Liverpool, an ex-Chelsea trainee, scoring a winning penalty against Chelsea for his loan club, to hand the initiative to his parent club in the race for the title."
"That's Borini's biggest contribution to Liverpool since he joined the club 20 months ago, and it might help ensure he has a future at Anfield."
"The fans love him now, and in fairness to him, he's had a decent season in a struggling side. If he comes back in the summer, and if Liverpool are champions, he will be getting a fair few pats on the back for sure," the former Irish international concluded.
Borini has scored seven goals in all competitions for Gus Poyet's side. The former Swansea City striker also scored goals against Chelsea and Manchester United in the quarterfinal and semi-finals of the Capital One Cup respectively. He also scored in the final at Wembley last month where Sunderland lost 1-3 to Manchester City.