Since joining Manchester City in August 2011, Samir Nasri has been severely out of form and has been in-and-out of the starting 11, but following a great start to the 2013/14 season, has he earned the right to be a regular starter?
It has never really worked for Nasri at the Etihad. He played an important part in City’s first title in 44 years with six goals and nine assists, which is impressing seeing as he wasn’t starting week in, week out. Last season he was mainly restricted to appearances from the bench and only showed glimpses of his true ability, greatly to the frustration of ex-manager Roberto Mancini, who claimed he wanted to smack Nasri for his inconsistency.
The 26-year-old playmaker considered leaving the Etihad in search of more playing time and also as he was desperate to earn his place back in the French squad. He flirted with Paris Saint Germain, but in the end he opted to stay and fight for his place, which he has done to great success so far.
The Frenchman has been nothing short of excellent throughout the start of the new season and Pellegrini must seriously consider finding a way to integrate Nasri into his strongest team. It is unclear to many why this hasn’t already happened though.
When analysing his appearances this season it’s difficult to find many where he hasn’t performed well. He came off the bench at Newcastle and did very well and scored with a calmly placed left footed shot, but the real highlight of his season was the three game period in which City played Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, hosted the Manchester derby and then travelled to Villa Park.
Against Viktoria Plzen Nasri played the full 90 minutes and assisted two of City’s three goals, against Villa he also played well and set up both of the Sky Blues goals from two sublime corners, with Toure and Dzeko scoring respectively. The game that has summed up Nasri’s season so far was the emphatic 4-1 win over United.
Nasri created all of City’s first three goals and then got his name on the scoresheet as he showed wonderful technique to send his volley to the left of De Gea. Even in the game against Everton when he came on towards the end he gave the side a much needed boost and completely shifted the game in their favour, and very nearly scored after some lovely footwork.
Manuel Pellegrini can’t delay Nasri’s inclusion in the starting team for much longer if he keeps on performing to this level. Samir has that raw talent that is rare among footballers and his quality is undoubtedly wasted on the sidelines. He has certainly justified a spot in the team and could be key in the mission to reclaim the Premier League title.
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