Samir Nasri was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2008 from Marseille and he instantly made an impact for Arsenal. The following seasons would see him evolve into one of the Premiership’s finest midfield talents.
however, his loyalty lay north of London and in the summer of 2011 Manchester City signed the Frenchman. Roberto Mancini was building the foundations to a title-winning side and Nasri slotted in perfectly alongside Yaya Toure, David Silva and Gareth Barry in midfield. Two Premier League titles with City cemented his name in the clubs history as they dawned on a new blue era.
Unfortunately for Samir, his career at the Etihad had been cut short due to a growing list of elite players at the club. He was sent out on loan to Sevilla in La Liga which was good for his game time, but many believed Nasri deserved a higher tier of football. The next season saw him move to the Turkish league which would prove to be a year of despair for the midfielder.
Having only made eight appearances for Antalyaspor in five months, things were already turning sour in Turkey. A ban from UEFA would only add to the frustration in his career as a total of eighteen months were handed out as a discipline for ‘overusing a nutrients drip.’ The allocated amount allowed into the athlete’s body was 50 millilitres, Nasri consumed ten times that. It is far from an illegal substance yet the ban lasted right up until January, this year.
This brings us up to now and a few months ago I don’t think Nasri would have expected to be back in the Premier League. The former Man City boss, Manuel Pellegrini has swopped in to sign Nasri for West Ham who this season are playing some of their best football in years. These two worked together shortly at City and Nasri could be the signing which gives Pellegrini’s side an advantage over midtable competitors.
Despite fitness concerns, Nasri has started in West Ham last three matches in which they have beat Birmingham & Arsenal but lost to Bournemouth last weekend. In the Arsenal match especially, Nasri was a class above the opposition midfield. The gunners were unable to keep tabs on their former employee and he subsequently set up Declan Rice for the only goal of the match. Nasri has been substituted off in every match so far but that is a positive sign that Pellegrini wants him in the starting eleven each week. He is a class player and if he gets his fitness right, this season could get even better for The Hammers.