Nuri Sahin "thanked God" he got away from Brendan Rodgers and now he's taking on Liverpool

His career went off the tracks after leaving boyhood club Dortmund but now he is back playing for them

Nuri Sahin, Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund's Nuri Sahin poses for a portrait for the Bundesliga season 2015/16 in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Alex Gottschalk)

If Real Madrid come calling, can you really say no?

Nuri Sahin didn't say no in 2011 when the La Liga club came swooping above Borussia Dortmund looking for him.

The German-born Turkey midfielder is from Lüdenscheid, a small Westphalian town just 43 minutes from Dortmund as the crow flies or Google Maps tell you.

At the Borussia Dortmund academy since the age of 13, Sahin progressed quickly through the ranks to make his Bundesliga debut at the tender age of just 16.

By the 2010-11 season, he was playing a key role in guiding Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund to the Bundesliga title which sparked interest from the big European clubs.

Attracted to Real Madrid by the prospect of working with Jose Mourinho, he signed a six-year deal but as often happens with many young players who transfer to the giants of European football, things can go off-track and they can quickly become irrelevant when the next bright young thing arrives on the scene.

In Sahin's case, injuries had a destabilizing affect on his time at Real Madrid, with a knee injury preventing him from taking part in Real's first 11 games and he never regained momentum.

That's where Liverpool came in as an escape route with Brendan Rodgers bringing him to Anfield at the start of the 2012-13 season.

Expecting to be a relatively key player in midfield for the Reds, he was never afforded a full 90 minutes in seven league appearances prior to being dropped in mid-November 2012.

With the benefit of hindsight, Klopp would later comment that Rodgers misused Sahin positionally.

"If you are a No. 8 or 6 and you have to as a No. 9 or 10 – it's not possible. For some guys of course it's possible, but Nuri’s a brilliant player – not nine-and-a-half and not 10 – and I don’t know why Brendan Rodgers would do this."

Sahin is a more deep-lying player rather than an advanced playmaker, although he was far more direct regarding his feelings about Rodgers during his six months at Liverpool.

"Thank God I have left Brendan Rodgers," he said, before returning to Dortmund and Klopp in January 2013.

"I did not fail at Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers wanted me to play as a number 10. But I do not play behind the strikers."

As Dortmund welcome Klopp's Liverpool to the Westfalenstadion tonight, Sahin remains part of Thomas Tuchel's impressive squad which has been flying in the Bundesliga and Europa League.

But in his years away from Dortmund, Sahin's former starting role was usurped by Germany international Ilkay Gundogan, who has had injury problems of his own in previous seasons.

But this season, Sahin has been derailed by a tendon problem which only saw him mark his return to the Dortmund first team in mid-February.

Injuries are unavoidable but perhaps in hindsight Sahin could have waited before jumping ship to Real and then Liverpool in the first place.