Arsenal Transfer News: Did Nuri Sahin Fail at Real Madrid?
Sealing Şahin on loan coupled with the impending signing of Santi Cazorla will turn the Gunners into serious title contenders.
If these two signings are completed, then Arsenal supporters should be chanting: "In Wenger we trust!"
Nuri Şahin's Dubious Transfer to Real Madrid
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At the time, most people were surprised that the Bundesliga's best player, Turkey's answer to Cesc Fàbregas and the conductor of Germany's best club garnered just €10 million.
A month before Şahin's transfer to Real, Salvatore Landolina at goal.com wrote:
Borussia Dortmund appear in no hurry to offer midfield maestro Nuri Sahin a new deal. Despite reported interest from several clubs including Inter and Liverpool, Borussia are yet to secure his services beyond 2013, leaving a €6 million summer buy-out clause open to inspection from possible suitors.
Focus on the "leaving a €6 million summer buy-out clause" part because this gave Real leverage over Dortmund, who were forced to relinquish Şahin for a paltry €10 million.
The previous summer, Real managed to sign Mesut Özil for only €15 million, after Klaus Allofs failed to convince Özil to sign a contract extension with Werder Bremen.
Nuri Şahin's Persistent Injuries Otherwise Known as the Tomas Rosický Syndrome
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When Nuri Şahin happily trudged off the field after Jakub Błaszczykowski's stoppage time equaliser against Hamburg, little did Şahin know that he'd have to wait another eight months before playing out the entirety of a competitive game.
The next week, he partially tore ligaments in his right knee against Freiburg—it was his last ever game for Die Borussen.
Having completed extensive rehab on his right knee, it was the cruelest of ironies when he injured his left knee during a July training session for Real Madrid. A month later, he did his left knee again.
Selectively Accessing Nuri Şahin's Performances for Real Madrid
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7-1 win vs. Osasuna | Grade: N/A | Nuri Şahin was efficient in possession and accumulated easy passes as Real Madrid took advantage of Eneko Satrústegui's red card. The talking point of this game wasn't another hat trick by Cristiano Ronaldo, or Şahin's tidy debut as a sub, but Ángel di María pulling his hamstring.
6-2 win vs. Dinamo Zagreb | Grade: B+ | Combined excellently with Xabi Alonso and Esteban Granero.
3-0 win vs. Ajax | Grade: B | Showed glimpses of class and played an invaluable role.
3-0 win vs. APOEL | Grade: A | The Borussia Dortmund Şahin finally showed up. He should have accumulated two assists, but both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo misfired.
5-2 win vs. APOEL | Grade: A | He strolled through the game and oozed of class.
3-1 win vs. Sporting Gijón | Grade: B | What if his shot ricocheted off the crossbar and into the back of the net? Would he have stayed on the field? He threw himself into a few aerial contests and tracked back. He shouldn't have been subbed off, but his replacement Karim Benzema scored.
2-1 win vs. Granada | Grade: B | Again, why was he taken off? He won back possession five times, completed 88 percent of his passes and looked lively. It was as if José Mourinho wanted a scapegoat for being down 1-0 at halftime, and he chose Şahin.
It was a bizarre tactical decision which cost Real balance in midfield and allowed Granada some openings. Luckily for the Special One, no one remembers his tactical blunder because Real came back from the dead and referee Carlos Clos Gómez was attacked by the Granada players.
Tough Loving from José Mourinho
In October, José Mourinho said: "We are tranquil with Nuri. He is a player with plenty of time ahead of him and we consider him to be important for us."
Now Nuri Şahin is free to leave Real Madrid with Luka Modrić bound for Spain's capital.
Here's Mourinho's latest quote regarding Şahin:
Real Madrid is very difficult. It is not an easy club, because we demand a lot. We have great players, and when you don't start well, it is difficult to do it. If he stays, he's not a problem for me, he's one more solution. The point is, he's a young boy, he wants to play every match. He wants to play to be happy
Now the "when you don't start well" quote is open to debate because Şahin played solidly whenever he was given a chance. Being subbed off against Sporting Gijón was questionable, but prematurely ending the Turk's game against Granada was so wrong.
With the injuries, the rehab, having to prove himself in training and coming to the gut-wrenching realisation that he made the wrong decision to leave Borussia Dortmund, Şahin still completed 88.7 percent of his passes and worked hard without the ball.
Mourinho may not fully appreciate Şahin, but Arsène Wenger will.