On The Move: Manchester City's Samir Nasri
In a period of change under new manager Pep Guardiola, Manchester City are active in both bringing players to Guardiola’s liking in, and also clearing the ones the Spaniard is not too keen on. Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri are reported to be the players Guardiola hasn’t got plans for. A large amount of money wasted, in Pep’s eyes.
From the players on that list, Mangala is the only one yet to hit their prime. Hart, while a good shot-stopper, doesn’t have the distribution a goalkeeper of Guardiola’s needs – or so we are led to believe. The rest on that list have gone past their prime and the Spaniard seems keen to refresh the first team with younger players. The signing of John Stones and Leroy Sane certainly suggests this.
Of those Guardiola wants gone, Samir Nasri is probably the player that has failed at City the most. The Frenchman lit up the Premier League with Arsenal demonstrating a fine dribbling ability. Yet, at City, numerous issues have caused his career to stall.
It was hoped Guardiola’s arrival would inspire the technician, yet Nasri returned ‘overweight’, according to his own manager. Guardiola has suggested since that Nasri is free to leave after omitting the Frenchman from the 21-man Champions League squad.
So if Nasri can leave, where will he go?
Expected: AC Milan
The Italian sleeping giants have been credited with an interest in Samir Nasri for a rumoured fee of £17 million. It seems likely that the Frenchman will end up over in Italy as his lifestyle suits what the country has to offer.
Yet on the football field, Nasri could aid Milan to a Champions League finish if he was operated correctly. Pellegrini tried to deploy Nasri from an inverted left position yet his best role is from behind the striker where he can find pockets of space and thread a pass.
One player likely to benefit from Nasri’s potential arrival is compatriot Niang who makes incisive runs yet doesn’t have the playmaker behind him to spot the runs. If Carlos Bacca is still in Italy come September, a partnership between the two may develop where Nasri becomes the provider for the Colombian hitman.
Unlike their city rivals AC Milan, Inter already have creative players behind the potent Mauro Icardi in Eder and Perisic, while they have also added Antonio Candreva and Ever Banega to their squad. So, signing Nasri is not a must for the Italian club this summer, yet his acquisition could create a formidable attacking line-up allowing them to challenge Juventus next season.
With Banega and Nasri acting as the creative sparks, Kondogbia holding midfield and Perisic and Candreva wide in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Icardi as the spearhead, Inter would have the option to counter-attack with their wide men, or to build up play with intricate passing triangles between the creative Banega, Nasri and Icardi.
With financial backing from Inter’s Asian owners, Nasri’s wages will not be an issue, while rivalling and beating their city neighbours to the signing of the Frenchman may act as a warning sign to all their title rivals. Inter, like most, will know an on song Nasri can be a game-changer.
Long Shot: Staying with City
To state it as a long-shot certainly fits the bill – Guardiola and Nasri seem to be on entirely different pages. Yet, if the Frenchman portrays a professional attitude he may well come back into Guardiola’s plans as he is a technician, something of which Guardiola likes.
With Raheem Sterling starting the season in fine form, Nolito beginning to settle in and Leroy Sane soon to return from injury, Nasri’s place on the wing is highly contested yet a place behind the striker may be available if Silva picks up an injury. Nasri certainly has the technical capabilities to fulfil a playmaker role in Guardiola’s attacking build-up phase.
If he was to stay at City, Nasri’s main role would most likely be to warm a seat on the bench.
A move is needed, as much as fans would hope the Frenchman could stick around and show his talent. With such talent in the City ranks, Nasri’s large pay packet means he’s likely to go.
A move to Inter may also lead to a place on the bench with all the talent available. AC Milan are a team in desperate need of a creative player like Nasri, a player who could help inspire the young Hachim Mastour, a highly rated youngster. If all goes as expected, it may be that Nasri is representing AC Milan come September.
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