Brendan Rodgers finally managed to sign the much coveted Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin from under Arsenal’s noses on Friday and looks a perfect fit for Rodgers footballing philosophy at the Anfield club. Sahin is a fantastic footballer who was tipped for stardom from an early age, Sahin who though German born chose to play for Turkey at international level.
His starring performance in the Turkey side that won the 2005 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Italy saw him in the spotlight and scouted by Real Madrid, Barca, Man Utd and Bayern Munich to name but a few. He soon became the youngest player to have played in the Bundesliga – when he made his debut in August 2005 at the age of 16 years and 334 days for Dortmund.
However, despite making the breakthrough into the senior Turkish side, he could not cement a place at Dortmund initially and, in 2007, he joined Dutch giants Feyenoord on loan. It was a move that would reignite his career and, under Bert van Marwijk, who gave him his break while in charge at Dortmund, he helped the club end a six-year trophy drought to win the Dutch Cup and really showed Dortmund what a player he could be given a chance and most importantly some faith in his ability.
Returning to Dortmund, Sahin established himself as a first teamer and his ability to sit deep and dictate the play drew comparisons with Andrea Pirlo and Bastian Schweinsteiger. His form helped Dortmund to the 2010-11 German title and attracted the attention of Real Madrid, who swooped with a €10 million bid that, matched a clause in his expiring contract that he could move abroad for that figure.
Sahin signed a six-year deal with the La Liga outfit but made just 11 appearances for them last season with Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso and Lassana Diarra being preferred as they efficiently won the Spanish league title. As we all know you don’t become a bad player overnight and Sahin needs to play regularly to gain his confidence and regain the form that made him one of Europe’s most sought after prospects.
Now at Liverpool on loan for the season this is the chance for him to reignite his career much like the Feynoord move had before, Rodgers will want the Turkish star to be his deep lying playmaker that can play the ‘quarterback’ role that Alonso made his own at Anfield launching attacks from deep in the LFC half.
Where he fits with Lucas, the LFC legend Gerrard, new signing Allen and the £18 Million Henderson will remain to be seen.
An incisive passer with a left foot that could open a packet of crisp, Sahin’s ability to play a killer ball marks him out from his peers. His vision is excellent and can dictate the tempo of the game from deep in the midfield and Rodgers will hope the Turk can be the spark the reds need to get back amongst the big boys and someone to supply the ammunition for Borini & Co.
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