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Cast your mind back two years ago. Borussia Dortmund were beginning to run away with the Bundesliga title and Nuri Sahin was one of their key architects. Alongside current Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa, Borussia Dortmund possessed one of Europe’s most fearsome midfields.
After helping Dortmund to secure their seventh German league title, Sahin left Germany to realise his dream move to the mighty Real Madrid. And then it all went downhill…
I for one, felt Sahin would adapt quickly to La Liga’s more pass based style of football and that he would soon develop his skills to become the very best he could be with the side from the Spanish capital. After all, the likes of Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira had both made the switch from Bundesliga to Real Madrid in La Liga with success.
Sadly for Sahin, his potential to succeed at Madrid took an early blow. An ongoing injury led to Sahin having to wait until early November to make his debut for his new club, and with Madrid’s midfield that regularly included Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil, Angel Di Maria, Jose Callejon and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, it would always be an uphill task for Sahin if he wanted to become an established member of the first team.
After some not particularly impressive performances, Sahin finally scored his first goal for Madrid in December, against SD Ponferradina in the Copa Del Rey, a goal which many expected to kick start some form. Unfortunately for Sahin, he never could shake off his various niggling injuries and he ended the 2011-12 season with a measly ten appearances.
It seemed inevitable that Sahin would be spending the 2012-13 season at a different club, and that different club turned out to be Liverpool on loan. After a decent start to life at the Anfield club that included two goals away at West Bromwich Albion in the capital one cup, Sahin slowly grew further and further out of favour under manager Brendan Rodgers.
The final straw in my mind was Sahin’s lack of involvement over the Christmas period and against lowly Mansfield town in the FA Cup. At Real Madrid he had Mesut Özil, Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso (amongst others) in front of him in the pecking order, at Liverpool he had Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Allen (again amongst others) in front of him.
Things are now looking up for Sahin. His move to Borussia Dortmund may well have rejuvenated his career, and being back at Signal Iduna Park could offer something extra to Dortmund’s ailing Bundesliga title campaign, which looks to have Bayern Munich’s name on it already.
In my opinion, Dortmund need more depth and organisation in central midfield and Sahin could provide that, as long he can replicate the confidence and desire he showed while in his previous stint with the German club. Mario Götze has done a fantastic job of creating chances for star striker Robert Lewandowski and left winger Marco Reus.
The addition of Sahin will only add to Dortmund’s midfield options but I can’t see him being able to overtake the electrifying Mario Götze. Ultimately, I believe Sahin’s potential success at Dortmund relies on him being able to get in the right mindset.
If he forgets his issues of his time in both Madrid and Liverpool, he could well yet become one of Europe’s most exciting players again.
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365
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