After a tumultuous transfer season that saw the departure of star midfielder Alex Song and leading scorer Robin van Persie, there looked to be light at the end of the tunnel for Arsenal in the form of 23-year-old midfielder Nuri Sahin.
Well, according to a report by Ed Malyon of The Daily Mirror, you can remove Sahin's name from manager Arsene Wenger's wish list, as the Turkish national team member is likely headed to Liverpool on loan.
Though nothing across the transfer wire has been officially confirmed, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers all but confirmed the move after a Europa League victory Thursday night.
"Hopefully in the next 24 hours we'll get some confirmation," said Rodgers (via the BBC). "It's quite far [along]. He's a very good footballer."
Sahin, a member of Turkey's international team since 2005, had just signed a six-year deal with his current club (Real Madrid) in May 2011 but struggled to catch on in the rotation in his only season at the Bernabeu.
For Liverpool, this move is a huge coup. Not only are the Reds getting a gifted young star that has become underrated after his La Liga struggles, but the team is also pilfering Sahin out from under its English Premier League rival.
For Arsenal, the blows just keep on coming.
Wenger hoped that bringing in Sahin would help soften the void left by Song, who ascended into the world's elite last season as the go-to assist man for van Persie. The runner-up for the Gunners' player of the year departed Wenger's club this transfer season in favor of signing a five-year contract with FC Barcelona.
Considering his skill set, Sahin likely would have been a perfect replacement.
In six seasons with German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund, Sahin developed a strong reputation for setting up teammates. His long passes and high IQ make him the type of player that knows where to place the ball with the innate ability to actually get it there.
For an Arsenal squad that looked a little stagnant offensively, a player with Sahin's ability could make up for a less talented set of strikers by setting up scoring opportunities.
Instead, it's back to the drawing board for Arsenal with just a week left in the transfer window. With very few big talents left available, Wenger will need to either get creative, make an unforeseen bold splash or simply go with what he has.
If the Gunners manager chooses the latter, 2012-13 may wind up as a lost season.
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