There have been quite a few rumblings that Real Madrid man Nuri Sahin would be coming to North London on loan for the season. This, of course, is fine with me. I would gladly accept the talented Turkish midfielder. He was, of course, the Bundesliga player of the year with Dortmund in 2011. What I don't understand is why Sahin is a huge difference maker on the squads position this year.
There has been quite a good bit of talk about how "if we sign Sahin, Arsenal will be real contenders". I even saw that on Cartilage Free Captain. This is absolutely befuddling to me as I see Sahin as a rotation or squad player, not as a particularly influential cog. In fact, there are questions on where he would fit. I think it's consensus that Sahin is not a starting XI when the squad is fully healthy, at least not unless Wenger changes the lineup. I think it's fair to say that Sahin will not be taking Alex Song's space, so that leaves 2 spots in the 3 man midfield of Arsene's preferred 4-3-3. There are quite a few players that slot into those 2 spots: Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Areta, Ox, Diaby, Wilshere. Robin van Persie could also potentially play in one of those midfield spots (assuming he does not leave), allowing for Giroud to play up top. Arshavin also has some experience their (though he may also be leaving). It is true that a good number of these players are injured (Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey) and several injury plagued. However, Sahin has not played consistently for a year. He also will not have a single preseason match to gel with the squad before the season starts. Furthermore, the squad that somehow made it to 3rd last year despite an incredibly awful start of the season and a ridiculous number of injuries has only been strengthened. With all of this laid out, someone please explain to me why Sahin appears to be the difference between being top 2 and status quo (or worse).