Nuri Sahin returns to Borussia Dortmund

Eighteen months after leaving his hometown club, Nuri Sahin returns to Borussia Dortmund. At a press conference held on Friday, the club announced they reached an agreement with Real Madrid and Liverpool on an 18-month loan deal.  The move will keep Sahin at the club until the end of the 2013/14 season and reportedly includes a buy option.

Win-win for both parties

With this long-term loan, Borussia Dortmund will add much needed depth in what will be a congested schedule in the second half of the season and a player already familiar with the team’s playing style and coach.  Dortmund have struggled a bit following their exhausting European matches this season and the option of Sahin will give Jürgen Klopp the opportunity to rest key players and perhaps even experiment with different formations.

For Sahin, it is a return to the familiar and the club where initially made a name for himself.   Chief executive Joachim Watzke refused to officially confirm a buy option at the end of the loan spell but said the club are in the driver’s seat and always kept the door open to a player that has been a part of the club for such a long period of time:

We always said that Nuri Sahin is a very special player for Borussia Dortmund and that the door is always open for him should he be interested in playing for the club again.  Nuri made that wish clear to us in the last couple of days and we obliged him.  We are very happy to welcome another player of such sporting and personal quality to our squad

Prodigal Son

Nuri Sahin is very much a Dortmund man. Having been a ball boy as a child at many of the club’s games and never away from the club before his move to Madrid apart from a brief loan spell, Sahin still very much considers Dortmund his home.  The midfielder made his debut for Dortmund at the age of 16 in 2005 and still holds the record to this day as the league’s youngest ever debutant. A few months later he became the youngest player to ever score a goal in the Bundesliga at the age of 17.  His career took off especially after his 2007/08 loan move to Dutch side Feyenoord where he thrived under coach Bernt van Marvjik before returning to Dortmund to become a key player under new coach Jürgen Klopp.

Under Klopp Sahin grew tremendously as a player and helped the club win their first title in over a decade in the 2010/11 seasons. That year he was also voted German Footballer of the Year by his peers as he brilliantly orchestrated Dortmund’s run to the title.  His success led to a move to Real Madrid the following summer for which Sahin signed a contract until 2017, but recurring injuries and stiff competition led to the loan to Premier League club Liverpool.  In England Sahin still struggled for playing time and was often forced to play out of position but he is happy to be hack and ready to prove himself:

It may sound strange but I have become a better footballer in this time period because I got to play with players like Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard.  I am happy to be back home again. The contact with the club, the players and the training staff never went away in the last year and a half. I hope to be able to help this team as quickly as possible.

Sahin stated that he was barely able to sleep the night before due to excitement and already talked with Klopp who is at winter training with the team in Spain. No doubt that Sahin will jump right into the mix of things once the team returns to Germany.  Although it might take Sahin a while to settle again having been away for so long it won’t be long before it will appear as though he never left.

Header courtesy of dpa

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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