Transfer Rumors: Picking a Liverpool XI to Include Sahin
ESPN is reporting that the Nuri Sahin saga may finally be coming to a close at Anfield.
Coach Brendan Rodgers is quoted as saying that the deal is "almost done."
Finalizing the capture would be something of a coup for Liverpool. They faced fierce competition from the likes of Arsenal, and were thought to have lost out due to their lack of Champions League football on offer.
The Turkish International brings with him from Real Madrid a wealth of midfield experience. Although his year at the Bernabeau has been deemed a disappointment, Sahin was able to capture Bundesliga Player of the Year honors with Borussia Dortmund just one season prior.
Apart from the obvious effect of adding depth to midfield, Sahin may alter Liverpool's first XI entirely. Here is a look at a prospective group that could feature regularly as a unit once the new Turkish acquisition begins training with the team.
GK: Pepe Reina
Nothing new here.
Do not let the 3-0 West Brom scoreline fool you, there was little the Spaniard could have done on any of the three scoring occasions.
RB: Glen Johnson
Only seems to get better as his time on Merseyside wears on.
While Kelly and Enrique have shown some gaping trouble areas of late, Johnson remains relatively consistent. He is a regular starter given full fitness form here on out.
CB: Martin Skrtel
The Slovakian was far from his best against West Brom.
Relatively middle-of-the-road forwards like Shane Long should not be able to make Skrtel look so foolish. He will need to improve quickly.
CB: Daniel Agger
Redcards aside, the Dane remains Liverpool's best defender.
At Eastlands this weekend, however, I hope to see Coates get the nod in favor of Carragher.
LB: Jose Enrique
Because there are so many imminent needs up front, little attention has been paid to the lack of depth at left full-back.
Enrique is "serviceable" but not great. He noticeably lost form late last season.
Beyond him Robinson, Flanagan and McEachern are returning. Further, both Kelly and Johnson are out of place at left-back. It would be nice to see Rodgers sign a veteran.
Leiva remains a step off the pace as he continues his rehab. That said he is the best option in the back of midfield regardless.
Hopefully, his recovery is swift and he regains full form in time for the club to avoid more ignominious 3-0 defeats.
CM: Joe Allen
Good central midfielders are a lot like offensive lineman in American football. Sometimes if you do not notice them on the pitch, that is simply because they are not screwing up.
Allen is coming into the post of holding midfielder quite nicely. As Rodgers referenced when signing him, he plays with a composure well beyond his years.
Hopefully the Sahin signature adds some offensive firepower so that Allen can avoid forcing it forward too often.
CAM: Nuri Sahin
Gerrard simply gave the ball away far too easily against West Brom.
Attacking midfielder or not, you cannot be that profligate with the ball in a 4-3-3. Enter Sahin who hopefully rediscovers his Dortmund form as soon as possible.
RW: Steven Gerrard
This one may raise a few eyebrows. But why not take Gerrard out of the midfield and give him more freedom to take chances?
The captain has an innate understanding of Suarez that few others on the team can match. Perhaps he is best suited for the hybrid winger role on the right flank.
LW: Fabio Borini
Borini clearly has a lot of growing to do. That said, he seems a lot further along than Downing and Cole in understanding the new system.
If he finds a killer instinct it would help a great deal in ensuring his place.
ST: Luis Suarez
No one is more upset than me by this placement.
However, the poor-finishing Uruguayan is better than any of the other options (Carroll, Morgan, Borini).
Ideally, Liverpool signs a poaching striker. If they do, it enables Gerrard and Suarez to play the wings which seems far more deadly.
Only time will tell, however. If Dempsey or Tello sign, all bets are off.