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Do This Talented Frenchman Have A Future At Etihad Under Pep Guardiola?

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Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri, a name that has been always in the limelight for some reason or the other. Be it his performances for City, or his attitude in leaving Arsenal or his present tendon injury, Nasri somehow attracts attention from the English Media. Samir Nasri started in the EPL when he signed on for Arsenal from Marseille in 2008 for a fee in the region of 12 million pounds. Nasri had a good first season with Arsenal. He finished the season with 44 appearances under his belt. He had scored 7 goals and registered 5 assists under his name. He suffered a broken leg in his second season and missed quite a few games at the start of the season. Despite of it, he still ended the season with 34 appearances, 5 goals and 5 assists under his name. His third season with Arsenal was the breakthrough one. He scored 13 goals in the 2010-11 season and was nominated for both the PFA Player’s player of the year and PFA Young Player of the year. Following his impressive performances for Arsenal, big money spenders Manchester City came calling and in August 2011, Nasri signed a 4-year contract with Manchester City for 25 million pounds.

He started off his City career on a very bright note. He was one of the most creative players for City as they became the EPL champions for the first time in the 2011-12 season. He was in sublime form in his second season as well and created a massive 53 chances for City. He scored 2 goals and had an average pass accuracy of 91%. He continued his good run of form in the 2013-14 season where he scored 5 goals and created 70 chances. He also had an average pass accuracy of 92% and won close to 50% of his average duels. In the 2014-15 season, he again won close to 50% of his average duels. He scored 2 goals, created 52 chances and maintained an average pass accuracy of 90%. Following his impressive performances since the time he joined City, he was rewarded with a new 5-year contract that will keep him at the Etihad till 2019.

Nasri started his 2015-16 career on a bright note as well. He made 8 appearances’ and had created as many chances for City before sidelined for 4-5 months due to a tendon injury sustained in training in November. He returned from injury on April 10th in the match against West Bromwich Albion and scored the winning goal for City. This season too, in spite of playing very few matches, he has still maintained an average pass accuracy of 93% and won close to 60% of his average duels. He has completed 262 passes out of which 54% were forward passes.

Now with new coach Pep Guardiola coming to City from the 2015-16 season, a lot many questions have been raised on Nasri’s future at the Etihad. Will he be a part of Pep’s plans or will he be part of the massive exodus that the club is planning at the end of the current season? To be honest, Nasri has been one of the most influential players for City in all the seasons he has played for them. I personally think that it is him that City has missed the most this season and because of that reason they are in 4th position on the EPL table and are 15 points away from table toppers Leicester City. He along with David Silva is one of the most creative players that City has to offer and both of them combined in midfield create hell for the opponent teams. Also, Nasri has seemed to get better with age. His performances have become more matured and clinical as the seasons have gone past by. He was a fast past midfielder who could play as an attacking midfielder and as a winger. Now due to his maturity in the winning more balls in duels, he can also be deployed as a central midfielder. Such a player who can fit into almost any role in the midfield is a prized possession for any manager. I feel Pep might want to give Nasri at least a season under him and see if he can strike his good form again next season. Nasri is still 28 and given proper guidance, next season maybe the time when he reaches his peak in providing absolute flawless performances.