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Why Did Arsenal Let This Deal Slip The Net?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 4 years ago
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pulled the plug on the club's long-term interest in Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin, which paved the way for him to complete his season-long loan deal to Liverpool. Isn't this just the latest example of the club's fiscally cautious approach getting in the way of progress? Surely in light of Alex Song's departure, even a short-term move for the Turkish international would have sufficed?

We cannot underestimate the effect that Jose Mourinho had on the deal, as he sought to aid a former coach of his from their time at Chelsea together, Brendan Rodgers at Anfield. The intentions of all the parties involved have been pretty clear from the outset - Mourinho wanted to help out a former colleague, while obviously relishing the opportunity to get one over Wenger in the process, both clubs wanted Sahin, but Sahin preferred Arsenal and the Champions League football that they had to offer and they were his first choice throughout.

Sahin revealed upon signing for Liverpool what Mourinho had told him: "Every weekend you can enjoy football. He also told me about how he and Brendan Rodgers worked together at Chelsea and that he's a good coach and person. That's important for me. It's not only football, it was very important for me to have someone who I can speak with."

He also revealed that former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso played a part in getting his ear: "He is still in love with Liverpool Football Club, I think. It's crazy how he was telling me about Liverpool. He was saying, 'Go there - you will love it. The fans will take care of you and love you' and things like that. He said Anfield is the best stadium in the world. Xabi won a lot of trophies here, and hopefully we can do that too."

However, while 'new player says nice things about new club' isn't the best headline around, it still doesn't explain why Arsenal buckled at the deal. The reaction to him moving to Liverpool saw a large swathe of Arsenal fans take to Twitter and spout nonsense along the lines of 'well, we didn't want him anyway' akin to a jilted ex talking about their former squeeze.

While I wouldn't disagree that even though Liverpool appear to have a fairly settled trio of Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard, that they are in need of Sahin's services more than Arsenal. Alex Song's £15m move to Barcelona certainly came as a surprise, but their reluctance to follow through their serious interest in Sahin suggested part of a wider problem - their seemingly ingrained reluctance to part with money.

Many figures have been floating about with concerns to how much the Sahin deal has actually cost Liverpool. The most laughable one that I've read was £9m, followed by plenty of catty remarks that this was just another example of Liverpool's financial mismanagement and that they are quickly heading towards ruin off the pitch.

Let's take a look at the actual figures shall we - the loan fee is £2m, which both Arsenal and Liverpool seemed perfectly prepared to pay and seems about the norm for a player of undoubted continental quality such as Sahin. Liverpool were willing to pay a higher proportion of his £115k p/w wages than Arsenal were, 70% of them in fact, which means that Rodgers' club will be paying £80.5k p/w, which over the space of a nine-month loan will cost the club £2.89m, which when you factor in the loan fee comes in at £4.89m.

The main trap that people appear to have fallen into is simply taking Sahin's full £115k wage and applied across the nine-month spell, which comes in at  just over £4m and just lazily attributed that figure to the deal, while also bumping up the loan fee to a quite baffling £5m from out of nowhere. When you bear in mind that a season is nine months long, not a full 12, then the pro-rata basis becomes null and void and should be discarded when working out what the deal would actually cost. Seeing as they've just sold Song for nearly triple that, to buckle on that alone would seem very tight, even by Arsenal's standards.

It appears as if Wenger's insistence of a £14m agreed fee between the two clubs for the transfer of Sahin at the end of his loan deal is the main reason for the plug being pulled. Liverpool have agreed no such fee and should he be a success at Anfield this term, he could quite feasibly walk straight back into the Real Madrid side next season and never come back, although you suspect that there is probably wriggle room here for negotiation, as players which hav just returned from a spell out on loan rarely go on to make an impact at their parent club again afterwards.

That many Arsenal fans were quick to label this as a sign of Liverpool's wastefulness in the transfer market yet again, citing the Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson moves is just plain bizarre. The fact of the matter is that Wenger, rather reasonably, preferred a more guaranteed long-term option when seeking a replacement for Song in his quest to sign another midfielder.

The main criticism often directed towards Wenger, though, is that he is almost obsessed with planning for the future as opposed to the present. With Jack Wilshere out until October at the very least and Abou Diaby finding his feet again after a terrible spell with injuries, he could perhaps do with a bit of short-termism, even if the terms themselves weren't perfect and it's this unwillingness to compromise which what makes Wenger's stubbornness his greatest strength and his biggest weakness at the same time.

In all likelihood, a combination of the lack of security surrounding the deal, coupled with the £5m outlay was probably the undoing of it all in Wenger's eyes, which is a worry. Sahin is only himself returning from a year of injury troubles, but given his pedigree, he's bound to have an impact of some sort and he's certainly good enough to walk into either side at the moment. You have to quantify whether the outlay suggested is less than the impact that they will potentially make during their brief stay at the club, and with the Sahin deal, it looks like a reasonable one on the face of it at least in terms of value for money.

It would be no underestimation to say that a player of his quality, that would normally cost upwards of £15 in the open market, could be the difference between a top four and a top six league position by the end of the season in such a tight league and it would have gone some way to lowering the expectations surrounding Wilshere upon his return to the side.

Pulling out of the deal would of been fine just so as long as Wenger managed to bring in a suitable replacement for Song before the transfer window closed. Preferably someone who isn't afraid to stick their foot in, but if he doesn't, then the fee of just under £5m for Sahin's season-long loan move looks even better and points to the fact that Wenger's concerns were purely fiscal.

This in itself is alarming as it simply reinforces the exact reasons why Robin van Persie left the club this summer to sign for Manchester United, and why Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both did before him - a lack of ambition. If Arsenal can't even compete financially for loan deals anymore, than that should leave the club's fans feeling very uneasy as they seek to maintain their top four place once again.

Written By James McManus

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Jscksonjack (Liverpool) 1 month ago
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Gunnerdemaestro (Arsenal) 4 years ago
After watching the Anfied game, wouldn't you say that Arsene was right again. Diaby is more powerful than Song, more of an aerial problem for opposition and a better dribbler of the ball. All he has to focus on is staying injury free and consistent.

Arsenal fans are very quick to shout nonsense, I guess 7 years of an empty cabinet does that to us.

Good read
ManUK (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Even still, you must admit that you would have liked to get Sahin. He's a great player and could have benefitted you even more in that game. I also think it would probably have been better for his career if he went to Arsenal
Haris1993 (Juventus) 4 years ago
Arsenal wanted to get the player with an option to buy but Mourinho wants to keep him as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, Liverpool got ripped off, 5 million for a season long loan and 2 million of his wages, for a player only staying for a year. Arsenal may have been the better choice, but they won't do stupid business to get Sahin
Otownballer (Arsenal) 4 years ago
Absolutely agree that too many have forgotten or never realized in the first place Abou Diaby's skill and ability. It's nice to see him back and making a solid contribution and let's hope he survives the season without further injuries.

My limited understanding of this situation is that Sahin is a player similar to Cazorla, Rosicky and Wilshere and because of that similarity, playing at the creative apex of the midfield triangle, we didn't really need him. He isn't a replacement for Diaby, Arteta or the departed Song. I could easily be wrong with that, since I've only read a few brief and partially explanatory statements by Wenger.

My last thought is that if Harris1993 is correct then it definitely makes sense to avoid a loan deal for Sahin: one year deal, high premium up front, no guarantee that he will form any kind of useful understanding with teammates, successfully adapt to the league or avoid injury. Too risky for a risk averse economist like Wenger
Nutcracker (Arsenal) 4 years ago
From what Sahin has showed us since the beginning of the season including his games with Turkey, it hasn't been one bit impressive. He doesn't do anything on the pitch, and by "anything" I mean giving away the ball or passing it immediately to another player without trying to pull off something smart
Coolcontrast (Arsenal) 4 years ago
When sagna and wilshere returns, we'll be more dangerous.... Sagna can deliver perfect crosses and wilshere will just terrorize the midfield.... The prob now is to choose btw mertesacker and kos.... Kos is quick and reads the game well but doesn't have the physique and height, mertesacker provides that aerial safety but can be slow and sloppy at times.... Giroud will be a hit once he scores his 1st goal.... Amazingly vito mannone has impressed me so2 much, he'll provide some needed competition in that department.... Walcott and the ox will have to work harder to earn a place now.... The next three games will be a huge test 4 us, if we can keep clean sheets through that, I think we have a great chance of landing at lest 1 trophy this season...
LeeChungYong (Arsenal) 4 years ago
I think there is no doubt that Kos should start before Mert. Kos has arguably been our best defender last season, even more than Vermaelen
MancYank (Manchester United) 4 years ago
I can understand why Wenger would be reticent to see this deal through. I think he is trying to plan for the long - term, and going through the trouble of making Sahin an integral member of the squad with no future guarantees is risky. Why drop the cash on Sahin when he can put that money toward a permanent transfer in January? Loan deals are better for less successful clubs who desperately need added talent, even if only short-term
Dannymorales21 (Arsenal) 4 years ago
We have plenty of mids, all who play the arsenal way. Why bring in a loaned player who is excess in regards to playmaking (rosicky, wilshire, arteta, and the new boy carzola who is fantastic) and risk him being a flop or! Making him a better player and sending him back to a team that already is stacked. No sense in the need for sahin another defensive mid is required in case diaby gets hurt, which is very likely considering his past
LeeChungYong (Arsenal) 4 years ago
Best case scenario-Sahin does well and helps Arsenal to finish top fourth but because of his regained form, RM wants to sell for 25 mil. Man City quickly buys him adding to the number of players that Arsenal lost to City

Worst case scenario-Sahin doesn't do well and goes back to RM.

I think as long as player injuries aren't significant, we should be able to finish top four without Sahin

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