Managers invariably look to trusted servants of clubs past when dipping into the transfer market, but as Jurgen Klopp’s recent Liverpool predecessors have shown him, it’s a risky ploy.
If said players happen to be world renowned superstars, then this may prove the exception to the rule. Nuri Sahin cannot take umbrage from being left out of this bracket however.
In fact, Reds fans perusing the morning gossip columns might well have choked on their cereal having discovered news linking the Borussia Dortmund midfielder with a return to Anfield.
Five months on Merseyside back in 2012 may have yielded three goals and the same amount of assists, but those stats cannot mask an uncomfortable Anfield stay for Sahin, which Reds fans had happily consigned to history. A stone to be left turned.
If the latest speculation holds true though, it’s a mineral in serious danger of being dislodged. It’s plausible that Klopp feels he can coax the kind of form out of Sahin which helped his former Dortmund side scoop the 2010/11 German title, earning the midfielder the Bundesliga’s top player award in the process.
However, that remains an obvious zenith in the 27-year-old’s stuttering career. From then, Sahin’s reputation has been sullied by a nightmare move to Real Madrid that lasted 10 games instead of the six years he penned and a lukewarm loan spell at Anfield.
A string of serious injuries have also greatly curtailed his involvement back at Signul Iduna Park over the past two seasons.
Even in plain view of this downward spiral since his Dortmund heyday and that underwhelming Reds stint, tellingly perhaps, neither negative factor can be cited as the strongest reason Klopp should suspend his interest in Sahin.
A second bite at the Liverpool cherry for the Euros-bound Turkish international is more inadvisable thanks to the precedent laid down by both Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson before Klopp’s hailed arrival.
Both opted to purchase former players among their initial forays into the market and both backfired quite spectacularly.
Hodgson’s ill-fated Anfield tenure will not only be remembered for its brief nature. The loss to Northampton Town and the signing of Paul Konchesky are also defining.
The unfortunate Fulham full-back never resembled a Liverpool player and sure enough was exiled on loan almost as soon as his manager had been given the boot.
Rodgers went a step further still, splashing out £11m on Chelsea reject Fabio Borini, whom he had coached at Stamford Bridge and brought on loan at previous club Swansea, before £15m Joe Allen joined the Italian at Liverpool from the Liberty Stadium.
While the latter may have bloomed very belatedly, Borini proved to be an anvil around Rodgers’ neck whenever he copped flak over his transfer policy.
If Klopp had managed to bring Mats Hummels to Liverpool in the summer, things may have been different, but history shows Sahin’s signing has disastrous potential.