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“I Nearly Signed For Arsenal Three Times”
Arsenal take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League tonight but one player could have been lining up for the opposite team if things had worked out differently.
Midfielder Nuri Sahin is expected to start for Dortmund at the Emirates this evening but he claims he came close to joining Arsenal on three occasions throughout his career.
The first time we showed interest was way back in 2004 when Sahin was just 16 while the most recent was in 2012 when the Turkish international was on the verge of agreeing a move to north London from Real Madrid before ending up signing for Liverpool.
However, his time at Anfield was a disappointment and he was eventually sold back to Dortmund where’s he’s rejuvenated his career. The 25-year-old said ahead of tonight’s game:
“It was very close in 2012. Three times in my career I was almost at Arsenal. It never happened, but that is normal in football,” Sahin said at a press conference.
“I think I was 16 the first time and then last summer we spoke with Arsenal, but in the end I signed with Liverpool.
“It was a good time for me to be part of a great club like Liverpool with such history and good team-mates.” [source: Goal]
The midfielder is also looking forward to testing himself against his friend and international team mate, Mesut Ozil:
“Mesut is a great player and good friend of mine. If you said he was the only player for Arsenal it would be disrespectful, but you can definitely say he is an important part of the team.
“During a game, it doesn’t matter who is against you. It is important that we have our match plan and if we manage to have our plan and play accordingly we don’t have to worry about individual match-ups.”
I was a huge fan of Sahin’s during his first spell at Dortmund and was keen for him to join us in 2012, so it was a shame to see his career go slightly off the rails at Madrid and Liverpool.
I think Arsene Wenger could have got the best out of him but it looks like he’s back playing well for Dortmund now and we’ll certainly have to keep an eye on him tonight.