After weeks of speculation, the club today officially announced the signing of, Turkish international, Nuri Sahin from Bundesliga club, Borussia Dortmund. The transfer fee is believed to be 10 million Euros as the player had a clause of leaving if there was an offer of 10 million Euros from outside Germany. The contract has been signed for a six year period.

The 22 year old left midfielder joins the likes of Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira who had joined the squad last season and made quite an impact in our success this season. He holds the tag of being the youngest player to debut (v Wolfsburg) and score a goal (v Nuremberg) in the Bundesliga at an age of 17 years old. This season he has scored 6 goals and provided 8 assists in the league.

Speaking about the transfer, Sports Director Miguel Pardeza said –

Sahin is a good player and one of the revelations of this season’s Bundesliga. He is a young and quality player, which makes him a good signing.

We don’t just try to get players from one place in particular. The club just tries to sign the best footballers available during the transfer window and those who can best adapt to the necessities of the team.

Sahin’s positioning influences the game of any side. He was used to carrying the weight of Borussia Dotmund and driving its initiative. He had an extraordinary season.

Our coach decides on the team’s tactics and he knows what the squad needs. Real Madrid as a whole is interested in the player, making the fact of who requested him less relevant. Mourinho naturally played a big role in the signing because, at the end of the day, he chooses the lineup.

Nuri Sahin in the press briefing said –

It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Borussia. I like the club and the coach, and I feel comfortable in Dortmund, but Real Madrid is one of the best teams in the world. Joining them means taking a great leap in my career.

I didn’t choose Real Madrid for money. I chose it because it’s the greatest club in the world. It’s impossible to say no to its history and current project. Jose Mourinho convinced me immediately. We met here in Dortmund one day. He is one of the best coaches in the world and I’m dying to work with him. It will be a great challenge.

Assistant Coach Aitor Karanka also spoke positively about the transfer by saying –

We believe Sahin’s arrival is positive. The club continues to work on next season and, truth be told, Sahin’s had an excellent campaign. We’re happy because we expect much from him.

We are on the same path as we were last year, signing young players who have made a solid impression in important leagues. It happened last year with Ozil, Khedira and Di Maria, amongst others. We’ll have to be patient with Sahin because he is 23 years old and this is Real Madrid. He will have to adapt to the team.

Quite honestly I’ve not seen him play (except for the videos) so I would be basing the judgement on what I’ve heard and read.

Sahin is a perfect partner for Alonso to spread the ball around. He can play defensively as well as create chances for the players up ahead. As the video clearly suggests, he has the vision to find little gaps to create scoring opportunities (much like Guti,eh?). While Alonso has literally bossed around in the midfield, Lass or Khedira haven’t made the same impact. If Sahin’s reputation and ability is to go by, he can do that with Alonso now as his partner.

Quite possibly a huge point is that he’s young and pretty inexpensive at 10 million. We have been having a mixture of players who are old and now that we’ve signed youngsters too, its a sign that we’re building a team for the future. Additionally, we’re not spending crazily either which is a huge bonus. Indication that Perez has understood the point and Mourinho has taken charge of transfers. (FINALLY!)

However there are two negatives to the move as well. One, it would mean one/or more of Gago, Alonso, Lass, Khedira, Granero would be in the same role. With Gago being pretty much injury prone, I don’t see him continuing into the next season and being offloaded somewhere else. Still, it leaves Alonso, Lass, Khedira, Granero and now Sahin with all places to fill. And all having the capability to start and make an impact.

Two, Sahin despite being creative and also defensive, is too dependent on his left foot. While it gives him one powerful foot in his left foot but it makes it easier for the opposition to read the player. It may be a frivolous reason to some but it does make sense when you think about it.

I posed the question on the transfer to people on Twitter too and this is what they had to say :

Anne (Mainz 05, Arsenal and German national team fan) says :

Nuri will certainly play at Madrid but it will be an uphill battle to secure a starting spot. He’s an intelligent and talented player, but untested on a larger stage so it remains to be seen how he’ll handle that.

Sandra Goldschmidt (Borussia Dortmund fan) said :

We are very disappointed of course, were hoping until the end he would extend with us. He plays Alonso’s position, was fantastic for us especially this season, great passing, he’s a great player. I just wonder if he will make Real’s starting line-up cause I can’t see Mourinho benching Alonso. Although, I think he’s an even better player than Khedira.

Amongst the Madridistas, Archit Navandar said :

If he doesn’t start high talent will be wasted. Think he’ll be rotated with Khedira. Big game experience is lacking I feel. Khedira proved himself in bundesliga and WC, and for us too.

S.Zareen Jacobs said:

I think its a good signing. Will take pressure off Xabi. Khedira did good so far in my opinion. So Sahin will be used as a substitute at the moment.

Ryan had a few comments to make on the transfer which I shall list down as pointers:

  • We add a very talented player to the squad, at a low cost, and also continue with the current policy of building the team around youth.
  • We attack the problem of the biggest dependency that we had this season, which is not Pepe, Ozil or even Ronaldo but rather Xabi Alonso.
  • Those qualities can also be used alongside Xabi and even in a 3 men midfield with the latter & Khedira. No indications of the contrary.
  • In those cases, he will allow us to deal in a better way against tights blocks. Something we saw more & more in the 2nd half of the season.
  • The consequences on our squad midfielders are a confirmation of Gago departure (if anyone needed one). A huge doubt around Lass (50/50 now, which would go to 100% out if Altintop joins us) & a season 2011/2012 even more complicated for Granero
  • Beyond that, I think it will be important to be patient because he has little EUR experience, in contrast to Ozil & Sami when they arrived.

What does everyone make of the signing? Our very first signing for the 2011/12 season.