It was not long ago that Samir Nasri was called as the next Zinedine Zidane. Such was the talent and guile within the Frenchman that he was compared with one of the true greats in the world of football. Back in 2008, it indeed looked like Nasri would be able to fulfil his talent after joining Arsenal. The gunners were not competing for trophies, but manager Arsene Wenger is probably the greatest at developing young players into superstars.
After all, Cesc Fabregas had gone from being a relative unknown into one of the best midfielders under the guidance of Wenger. Just when it seemed that Nasri would be more of the same, the 29-year-old has just seen a loan move to Sevilla and it is highly unlikely that he will return to play for a Champions League team again in his career. What has gone wrong for this monumental decline in the last five years?
Signed by Roberto Mancini in 2011, Nasri claimed that he was joining City in order to win trophies. The player may have achieved this objective with flying colours after lifting two Premier League medals. He continued to make around 40 appearances in all competitions in the first four seasons at City. The undoubted talent within the player was combined well with the strikeforce containing Sergio Aguero by Mancini and, to a lesser extent, Manuel Pellegrini. The troubles for Nasri began in the 2014-15 season when the player suffered injuries and had to undergo corrective surgeries in order to prevent future trouble.
This limited him the number of opportunities in the first team. Man City are not a club where a player is guaranteed his position upon returning from a long-term injury. The massive financial resources of the club meant that they can sign star players every transfer window. Unable to feature regularly due to niggling issues, Nasri suddenly found himself out of favour even after returning to the first-team action. The midfielder has since been caught up in a Catch-22 situation.
The biggest of injury problems hit Nasri in the 2015-16 season when he had to miss 35 games due to a hamstring injury. Manchester City could do a lot with his talent, but the club has grown impatient with the injury issues. The striker also failed to keep himself fit when on the sidelines.
New manager Guardiola also needs success instantly and cannot afford to wait for Nasri’s return to his best.