Rodgers unsure of Sahin's future


Soccer:Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he does not yet know whether he will be able to buy - or even afford - on-loan midfielder Nuri Sahin. The Turkey international, who arrived late in August from Real Madrid, has taken a while to settle in but has scored three goals in his last two starts.

Sahin's improvement in form has come at the perfect time with Lucas Leiva still out injured and Jonjo Shelvey suspended. But Rodgers insists it is still too early to make decisions on whether he wants to keep the 24-year-old or even whether Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho would let him go.

"I don't look beyond the loan period because there are lots of things which will determine whether he ever came here (permanently)," said the Reds boss. "One has to be availability. Jose (Mourinho) may decide after one year playing he is really the type of player he wants around his squad.

"Two: He might not be affordable. Affordability is important as well. We'd all love Lionel Messi but whether you can afford him or he's available is another thing.

"All I can concentrate on is Sahin coming in here and helping him become the best player he can possibly be. If he finds he enjoys it here and he fits into the way we work, which I am sure he would do because he is a good guy and understands the game tactically and is prepared to fight for the club, then that is something come the end of the season we will talk about.

"But at this stage it is way too early. He is just starting to get up to speed fitness-wise but what he is is a real good guy and you have seen his performances. He has a wonderful left foot and the ability to score a goal and he was the captain of Borussia Dortmund at a very young age so he's got those natural leadership qualities."

Liverpool's current captain Steven Gerrard insists he is not thinking about his long-term future just yet but believes he can play on beyond his current contract. The 32-year-old signed a new deal in January which runs until the end of next season but he does not necessarily see that as a natural finishing point.

"We will have to wait and see," said the midfielder at a golf event for his charity The Steven Gerrard Foundation. "I'm enjoying my football, I feel physically strong, and I want to go on for a long time yet. I love playing for the club, I love being the captain. It's living the dream, so to speak. I'm enjoying playing under Brendan Rodgers. The training is good, it's a very exciting time, and hopefully I can continue to play and to contribute under the new regime."

His fellow midfielder Joe Allen, a recent addition from Swansea, has said it is a "privilege" to play alongside striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguay striker became the first Reds player to score back-to-back league hat-tricks on the same away ground in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Norwich.

Despite the 25-year-old being criticised for not scoring more goals he has just one fewer (20) in his first 50 league matches than the club’s record scorer Ian Rush managed. “It’s a privilege to be able to play alongside Luis,” Allen said. “I’m just grateful he’s on my team. When you’re out there playing alongside him you just have to be in awe of a performance like that. The goals, some of the things he did, not many people in world football can do.

“He’s got everything you need to be a top-class striker and I’m excited about the season he’s going to have for this team. We mentioned before the game about the fact he got a hat-trick against them last season and the fans at Carrow Road must be happy to see the back of him.”

Rodgers had raised the issue of officials not giving Suarez decisions with referees’ chief Mike Riley before the weekend, but it appeared to make no difference as the Uruguayan was denied a clear penalty against the Canaries.

Despite their frustrations Allen said the team had to learn to put those issues behind them. “There’s been a lot of talk about Luis recently and some of the penalties he may have had. There was another strong penalty shout at Norwich which he didn’t get but as you saw from his reaction it didn’t affect his performance - in fact he went on to put on a near-perfect display.

“I think Luis individually, and also us as a team, have just got on with things.”

Having recorded their first league win of the season Allen believes they can now move forwards quicker.

“This is where our season starts really. We have to kick on from here,” he said. "If we keep performing like that then it will be the first win of many. With the talent we’ve got in the team we know that if we give it everything then there’s not many teams who can stop us.”

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