Real Madrid Transfer: Nuri Sahin and Los Blancos Should Part Company Permanently
Nuri Sahin had a frustrating and disappointing first season at Real Madrid, one which was plagued by injury. But a series of unfortunate events has really halted the development of Sahin at the La Liga champions.
It was great to see Real Madrid snap up one of Europe's most exciting midfielders last summer. Sahin's game would have allowed a natural successor to Xabi Alonso's position in the team.
Like Alonso, Sahin pulled the strings in the Borussia Dortmund team prior to his move to Madrid. He was supported by either Sven Bender or Sebastian Kehl, and his leadership was the real driving force behind Dortmund's title success.
There's nothing wrong with strength in depth, and Jose Mourinho certainly has a player in Sahin who can fill a number of positions in the midfield. But maybe this is a case of one outstanding talent simply not being able to fit in at a top club.
It's not unheard of, and it's certainly not a slight on Sahin's talent or ability. At his best, Sahin would be an asset for any major club in Europe. But maybe the injuries and his late arrival onto the scene at Madrid has forced him to miss his chance. A chance that now may long have sailed away.
Mourinho has already stated that Sahin's immediate future is down to the player, indicating that one way or another Sahin is not a priority for Los Blancos. The Madrid manager, however, did go on to say that the player would be worked into the squad for this upcoming season, should he decide to stay.
But Sahin is young and still hasn't fulfilled his potential. Again, I think it's fantastic that Madrid managed to pick up a bargain from the Bundesliga, even though Sahin was entering the final year of his contract. However, how much can the player afford to waste by being on the fringes of the Real Madrid first team?
Arsenal have shown a prolonged and intense interest in the midfielder, one which could see them extend the proposed loan deal into a permanent move.
For both sides, and even for Real Madrid, this seems like the ideal situation. Arsenal are desperately in need of a player like Sahin. The Gunners missed out on Xabi Alonso back in 2008 and would be more than compensated by the former Dortmund captain.
Sahin not only needs regular first team football, but he also needs to know he's wanted and an integral member of a squad. He's simply far too good to be used sparingly over a heavy season schedule.
It's been suggested that a loan fee could be extended if Madrid were to accept Arsenal's insistence on a buying clause. At this stage it seems fair, with the club not committing immediately but rather testing the water to see if Sahin is worth it via the loan.
The issue now, of course, is how well and how quickly the player can adapt to regular football. Does he still have the spark and the ability to dictate?
It would also be a fair argument to suggest that Sahin can eventually take over from Xabi Alonso, who is now the wrong side of 30. But how long will that be? The club's chase of Luka Modric also suggests there would be little room for Sahin to take up a prominent role in the future.
Above the needs of Real Madrid, Nuri Sahin has to get back to the top of the mountain as one of the best young midfielders in Europe. Unfortunately, his platform may now have to be away from the Bernabeu.
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