Brendan Rodgers has backed Fabio Borini to supplement Liverpool's attacking ammunition next season after the Italian forward made a goalscoring return for the club on Wednesday night.
With the necessity for more experience of the Barclays Premier League in mind, the 23-year-old agreed a loan move to Sunderland for the entirety of the 2013-14 campaign.
The decision proved fruitful for all parties; Borini racked up 40 appearances and fired 10 crucial strikes for the Black Cats as they avoided relegation and reached the Capital One Cup final.
This week, the No.29 was back on duty with the Reds, shining throughout his display at the Aviva Stadium and curling a sublime second during a 4-0 friendly triumph over Shamrock Rovers.
Rodgers was impressed and, following an explanation of why the spell with Sunderland was crucial for Borini's development, the manager predicted a bright future for the striker.
"I thought he was excellent," said the Northern Irishman, who made the Italy international his first signing as Liverpool boss in the summer of 2012.
"With Fabio, it was just a case of we had Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, who I felt were going to play a lot of games; we didn't have so many games with no European football. Luis is so robust, he plays every minute of every game and he's a world-class striker.
"So for Fabio's development - and nothing to do with not thinking he's a quality player, because I know him better than anyone - he needed to go out and get games to prove his worth. He's done that.
"He'll now come back a year later into our squad in the summer; you saw with his pace and his power and his ability to get a goal that he's going to add to the quality that we already have."