Patrick Vieira is adamant Samir Nasri is capable of producing better performances than he has for Manchester City this season.
City’s football development executive has been disappointed with the lack of impact his ex-France teammate has had, but believes Nasri’s talent will be exhibited more frequently next campaign.
Vieira told Manchester Evening News: “On a personal level, he is very disappointed with the level he reached this season, for various reasons.
“He remains an important player in our squad and has learned a lot from the past year,” he said. “This season has been very important to him and he will be much stronger next year.”
However Nasri is not the only big name that has failed to live up to their billing at the Etihad Stadium, following last season’s Premier League title success.
Sergio Aguero has failed to replicate the form of his debut season in England, and the normally reliable Joe Hart has looked a shadow of his former self.
But Nasri has found first-team opportunities extremely limited, with boss Roberto Mancini preferring to utilise James Milner on the right flank.
Mancini’s assistant, David Platt, said: “Since he has been here, Samir has blown hot and cold.
“When he has been hot he has been absolutely roasting – he has been a tremendous player. There are times when people have been very critical of him when I don’t think he’s had a bad game.”
The Sky Blues will be hoping the ex-Arsenal attacker recaptures his form in time for August, and help prevent neighbours Manchester United from defending their 13th Premier League crown.