Center midfielder Alex Song left London after Arsenal agreed to sell him to Barcelona for a £15 million fee, as reported by the BBC. Before the deal was completed, BBC Sport’s David Ornstein reported that the team was close to securing Sahin on loan.
Now that Song is no longer with the team, Arsene Wenger will be even more motivated to bring Sahin to Emirates Stadium.
Jose Mourinho—the 23-year-old’s current manager—supports the midfielder’s prospective move to the English Premier League, saying at press conference, via The Independent, “It is all the same to me, though, which club he goes to. I just hope that it happens soon for him, as it is best for him. Liverpool, Arsenal or Spurs - I have no preference.”
Sahin was first recognized as a world-class talent while playing for Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid sought to make him one of the next Galacticos. But the Turkish international was unable to see much of the pitch after moving to the Bernabeu, making just four La Liga appearances this past season.
He is a fantastic passer, who seems to be able to put the ball on any player’s feet from anywhere on the pitch. His touch allows him to be a fantastic distributor and his vision makes him a constant danger when the ball is at his feet.
However, he is not an effective ball-winner in the center of the field. His style is remarkably similar to Arsenal midfielders Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, and he would be redundant on the roster.
The team needs a strong defensive force in the midfield to make up for Song’s departure. The Cameroonian was an extremely effective passer, but the space he occupied on the pitch made tackling and intercepting passes his most important contribution.
Sahin is not capable of providing the same sort of presence in the defensive third of the field, and Wenger will have to include a player like Abou Diaby in the lineup to keep the midfield stable.
Arsenal would certainly have midfield depth, but Sahin’s addition would make the midfield crowded. Causing a young player like Aaron Ramsey to miss out on playing time because of player who may not be with the side for more than a season would not be a wise move.
The Gunners would do better to go after a player who is a more natural fit in the lineup, and will not step on other players’ toes.