Sahin: I was close to joining Arsenal three times

The Turkey international was on the verge of signing for the Gunners more than once and is relishing the chance to lock horns with close friend Mesut Ozil on Tuesday
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin has revealed that he was on the verge of joining Arsenal on a number of occasions in the past.

The 25-year-old is expected to feature from the start for BVB when they take on the Londoners in Tuesday's Champions League match, but he could very well have lined up for the Premier League leaders instead if things had gone differently.

"It was very close in 2012. Three times in my career I was almost at Arsenal. It never happened, but that is normal in football," Sahin said at a press conference. 

"I think I was 16 the first time and then last summer we spoke with Arsenal, but in the end I signed with Liverpool.

"It was a good time for me to be part of a great club like Liverpool with such history and good team-mates."

Sahin then went on to discuss the Group F encounter versus Arsenal and singled out Mesut Ozil as one of their key players.

"Mesut is a great player and good friend of mine. If you said he was the only player for Arsenal it would be disrespectful, but you can definitely say he is an important part of the team.

"During a game, it doesn't matter who is against you. It is important that we have our match plan and if we manage to have our plan and play accordingly we don't have to worry about individual match-ups."

Tuesday's match at the Emirates is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.