Amongst the Kagawas, Lewandowskis and Gotzes, Borussia Dortmund nurtured another exciting young talent amongst its ranks in 24 year old Turkey international, Nuri Sahin.
He was a revelation in the midfield back in Germany which earned him notability in the eyes of Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho, who acted fast to procure his services.
Regrettably, for whatever reasons, Sahin has scarcely been employed within a Madrid midfield blessed with a wealth of ability. So difficult has his time been that last season he managed to play more friendlies with his national side than caps in any domestic competition for Real.
Sahin definitely has a lot to offer in that left boot of his but just how would he affect the teams he is linked with?
Spurs’ interest sprung with the deal for Modric going in the opposite direction; they see Sahin as a makeweight within the terms but Sahin was reluctant to agree. Still, stranger things have happened before in football and we could still see him moved on to the Lane.
Modric and Sahin play in a similar position with a comparable style; deep-lying controllers of the game. Modric has the superior premiership intellect so using Sahin in that position may take many games before it works out ideally for Villas-Boas.
Luckily, as with Modric during his time, Sahin will have a lot of help around him with Sigurdsson providing the goal-scoring threat and Parker breaking up play, allowing him to focus more on creating and knitting things together between all three thirds.
The Gunners were, initially, the first interested party but it soon died down as the Van Persie saga escalated. Now Arsenal have put Sahin on notice once more as Wenger sees him as a perfect addition to fill any gap left if Song leaves for Barcelona.
Sahin is more likely to favour Arsenal than the other teams linked with his signature as they can offer Champion’s League football for the season.
Again, possibly even more so in this case, it will not be a like-for-like acquirement; Song is much more robust than Sahin likes to be. Arsenal can expect to become even more lightweight in the middle of the park if this goes through.
Though, it would be exciting for Arsenal fans – and neutrals in general – to see him link up with pass-masters, Arteta and Cazorla. That would be the makings of possibly the most inventive midfield in the Premiership this year.
Liverpool had been thought of – prior to the Song speculation – as the favourites to sign Sahin. Even Mardid seemed keen to loan him to the Anfield outfit for a year if rumours regarding Mourinho and Alonso’s endorsements are to be believed.
Similarly to Arsenal, Sahin will be amongst an already prodigious midfield when it comes to retaining the ball. The Reds possibly need him least as they already have 7 midfielders vying for spots in 3-man centre but, if he does choose Liverpool, he would instantly be a more imaginative option the likes of which the team hasn’t seen since Luis Garcia.
image: © peterfuchs