Scout Report: Nuri Şahin – What he could’ve brought to Arsenal…

PLEASE NOTE: At the time of writing, it looked almost certain that Şahin was joining Arsenal. Now he’s almost certain to join Liverpool (!!) – that’ll teach me!  

Full Name: Nuri Kazım Şahin

Age: 23 (September 5th, 1988)

Nationality: Turkish (German Citizen; born in Germany)

The ‘little boy in side him screamed Manchester United’, the vast ranks of loyal Arsenal fans screamed ‘traitor’. It’s not been a good week, in theory, for Arsenal – the sale of Robin van Persie will leave an sour after-taste in the mouths of many a Gooner, but there’s life yet after the Dutchman.

There’s plenty to be excited about, that’s a fact which many a tabloid newspaper don’t want you to believe. Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla have strode through the Emirates entrance with an expectation on their shoulders, the expectation which Robin van Persie heaped on them. Helps at hand, though, as the talented figure of Nuri Şahin looks set to take his share of considerable task; accounting for van Persie’s departure.

Brilliance which failed to grace the Bernabeu;

Şahin’s move from Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund to the Bernabeu was a high-profile one, but without the once all too familiar ‘Galáctico’ price tag. At €10 million, it was a bargain, Madrid exploited a little-known clause in Şahin’s Borussia contract. His playmaking exploits lead BVB to their first Bundesliga title in 8 years, inspiring Klopp’s men to inherit the Deutscher Meister name tag. A glittering career in the Spanish capital awaited…

The unwelcome duo of injuries and Xabi Alonso hampered his first season at Mourinho’s Madrid; both confining Şahin to just 10 appearances in all competitions as los Blancos marched onto a needed La Liga title. Ultimately, we’ve yet to see Şahin’s sumptuous self light up the Santiago Bernabeu, and it’s open to debate if we ever will.

Just what will he bring to Arsène’s Arsenal;

He’s a playmaker, a midfield lynch-pin who’ll keep things ticking, the oil in the well-worked system. Similar to a certain Mikel Arteta in the previous point, but similar to MA8 as a classy caressor of the football too. An ability to pass the ball, a trait which is valued highly by the experienced Wenger, is Şahin’s forté. He was famed in the Bundesliga for his passing ability and will reap the plaudits in the Premier League if he emulates his former BVB self. He also holds a fearsome left-foot, the foot with which the large majority of his 31 Borussia Dortmund goals rocketed off. Offensively he’s at his most comfortable, but don’t disregard his ability to fulfill a defensive duty.

Similarities to Mikel Arteta are obvious. Şahin’s a deep-lying playmaker of the highest quality, but wasn’t used effectively by José Mourinho.

Defensively, once again, he’s similar to Mikel Arteta – they bare resemblances in many a footballing aspect. Lacking the raw pace when compared to rival midfielders, he depends on his tactical awareness, his forward-thinking demeanor, to defend. His interceptions are a priceless trait to behold; especially coupled with his trademark to switch between defence and attack in an instant.

He’ll suit the Arsène Wenger philosophy. Incredibly comfortable on the ball, good without it. He’s an all-round midfielder, a fact which is often forgotten.

Just why are we in Şahin?

This is a debate will and has ravaged on, but it could be answered sometime soon. Opinion differs – some media outlets say that he will be the replacement for the departing Alex Song, while others say different. The signing of a defensive midfielder, such as Yann M’Vila or Étienne Capoue, will put this argument to bed.

Şahin in 2010: “For me, Arsène Wenger is one of the best managers in the world.”

In my opinion, Şahin will be seen as an alternative to the injured Jack Wilshere. It’s vital for Wilshere to return at a steady pace, without putting himself under any real danger of further worsening the injury. Nuri Şahin will provide a cushion which Arsène will keep Wilshere on.

The deal itself is only a loan deal. This offers the perfect solution in the short-term to Arsenal’s future – Şahin adds world-class ability to the squad while covering for the injured Wilshere.

Nuri Şahin, welcome to the Barclays Premier League;

Yes, the above title was initially ‘Welcome to Arsenal Football Club’! I think he’ll succeed in the Premier League. He has the qualities, mentality and ability to become a key player in our somewhat crowded midfield at Liverpool. Can he scour through his back pocket and pull out his once world-class form from his time at Borussia Dortmund? Time will tell…

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