Twelve appearances into his Liverpool career, the Turkish midfielder heads back to the club with whom he first made his mark, leaving Merseyside for Borussia Dortmund.
As the appearances dwindled and the transfer window grew nearer, talk of Nuri Sahin's exit suddenly became a thing. Cancelling the loan took most of the headlines, with wages and lack of playing time not adding up to a particularly good deal for Liverpool. The player's first senior club--and the one with which he was very, very successful--eventually pushed to the top of the heap, and today we learn that he'll be headed back to Germany to join Dortmund.
It's a move that makes sense for both club and player at first glance--Liverpool's rumored to be paying £90,000 per week in wages, and it's become increasingly clear that Brendan Rodgers doesn't appear to have space for the midfielder after he failed to make any discernible impact when given a consistent run of matches. Lucas' return rules out a spot for Sahin in his more preferred deeper role, Steven Gerrard's going nowhere, and between Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson, and Jonjo Shelvey, it would seem that the manager has the options he wants for the time being, and Suso lies in wait for the future.
But it also feels like an opportunity missed, especially if we look back at the post-Chelsea period that saw him fade from the first team picture completely. He struggled to cope against Everton and at Stamford Bridge, but with Lucas not yet back and both Allen and Gerrard failing in form, Rodgers continued to leave the Turkish international on the sidelines.
He was always going to need to play his way back to match fitness after spending most of the last season on the bench or training table at Real Madrid, but early returns seemed to indicate that he'd have a chance to do that at Liverpool. Cynicism about a larger wage packet aside, he chose to join Liverpool for the style of play and opportunities afforded to fit into that, and when it became obvious that he wasn't going to get those opportunities, an exit was always likely.
Again, it makes sense on both sides, with Liverpool now able to use the resources they'd tied up in Sahin on someone else either this window or next, and it seems as though he'll have more chances to settle in at Dortmund. And I don't really know if we can say that Liverpool are losing him when he wasn't necessarily a part of the squad. But it's disappointing in some sort of vague, ambiguous way, as it represents opportunity lost for a quality player to make Liverpool better and, with no reinforcements promised prior to the end of the January window, one less player for the rest of the season.
Good luck to him in Dortmund, though--hopefully he gets back to the form that saw him earn so much success there the first time around.