NURI Sahin, the 23 year old Turkish midfielder has signed for Liverpool FC from Real Madrid on a season long loan. After days of speculations of will he or won’t he, and a see-saw battle with Arsenal, the news finally broke out that he agreed to join the Merseyside club.
After completing the medical, the Turk was handed jersey number 4 famously worn by Sami Hyypia, and he seems excited about the move to Anfield. Liverpool certainly will provide him what Real Madrid didn’t for the past year: the chance to be one of the team’s best players.
It won’t be a huge surprise if he opts to stay at Anfield permanently once the loan period is completed and in my opinion it would make more sense than staying at Bernabeu.
“It makes me proud to have joined such a big club like Liverpool Football Club. After the first conversation we had, I was left impressed by Brendan Rodgers. He told me about how he wants to play football and what the goals are he wants to reach with Liverpool. I am looking forward to meeting the fans. I hope it will be a nice year with trophies,” said the excited Sahin, upon signing the contract.
At Liverpool he’d have the opportunity to work under a fiery, motivated Rodgers, who has promised Liverpool’s return to prominence.
Liverpool has seen its dominance in the Premier League dwindle in recent years after losing Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid. There’s arguably no better time for a young player like Sahin to create his own legacy at Liverpool than now. This is a major move for the club in the direction to becoming a Champions League contender once again, and for the player en-route to becoming a world class star. He has the potential but never had the chance to show it during his spell at Madrid.
When Lucas returns/is fit, Liverpool will have a filled to capacity midfield, however for a player like Sahin it shouldn’t be a big problem to break into the first team. His style of play is distinguishably suited to the Brendan Rodgers philosophy. He is naturally gifted, his ability to send a perfectly weighted ball, akin to hitting a wide receiver in stride, has the potential to deal a death blow to opposing defences. With Brendan Rodgers stressing speed and decisiveness from his forwards, Sahin, with his vision would be an ideal provider in the midfield.
The 23-year-old is comfortable at keeping the ball in his possession and is rather keen on waiting for the right time to launch the perfect pass forward. For Rodgers he’s a blessing as he always encouraged passing and precision. In the Premier League, being able to fend off fast-closing defenders is crucial for a successful midfielder and Sahin has the ability to do just that. His good skills coupled with a fine finishing touch works as a bonus for him. Just as much he provides his forwards the scoring chances, he also gets his name on the score sheet with odd goals here and there. He has the touch and pace for long shots, as well as the finesse often required in crowded penalty areas.
That’s all good and well, but with his arrival comes the question who Rodgers will sacrifice to make a room for him. In my opinion, you don’t sign a player like Sahin for a one-year deal only to leave him on the bench. That means Lucas Leiva (when fit), Steven Gerrard or Joe Allen will get significantly less playing time. However, with a player like Sahin on the roster, it will not be a huge cause of concern to rest either Lucas or Gerrard from time to time.
Sahin made his debut at the age of 16 to become the youngest player to play in the Bundesliga. He then went on to become the league’s youngest goalscorer. A loan spell at Feyenoord rejuvenated a stuttering start to his career and before his ill-fated switch to the Spanish capital he was named the Bundesliga player of the season in 2011, after helping Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title.
Brendan Rodgers will surely want to involve the Turkish international as a first team member and from Real Madrid’s perspective it was also the preferred deal. Jose Mourinho’s friendship with Rodgers played a huge role in the deal, as he wants the 23 year old flourish under his protégé. If he impresses on loan, Mourinho would want to keep him as the future replacement for Xabi Alonso.
Liverpool however also have their former midfield anchorman Xabi Alonso to thank. Sahin admits Alonso played a big role in him eventually deciding to join the Reds and now hopes he can enjoy similar success with the club.
“Xabi is still in love with Liverpool I think. He was saying ‘Go, you will love it. The fans will take care of you and love you’,” said Sahin. “He told me Anfield is the best stadium in the world. Xabi won a lot of trophies here and, hopefully, we can do that too,” continued Sahin during his first interview with the Official Liverpool FC website.
Sahin has also expressed his desire and excitement to play alongside Steven Gerrard, who he saw as a youngster in the Champions League Final at Istanbul in 2005.
“Steven Gerrard is a huge name, not only in Liverpool but in world football. I am looking forward to playing with him – I’ve played against him once. There are many other players that I could name – I could start from number one to 25. I know them all, not personally, but I know how they play football and what the style of Liverpool is. I am looking forward to meeting them all. If I have to choose one name, it would be Steven Gerrard - but it is not only Gerrard.”
With Steven Gerrard past his prime and the overcrowded Reds midfield lacking the creativity, Sahin could just be the man that Liverpool needs right now. He has been deemed the future of Real Madrid at times during his tenure there, but he never got the playing time required to flourish into an elite player – at Liverpool he will get the his chance. If he can come in and grow to his potential, it could end up being a steal for Liverpool.