Ok Gunners fans, stop sniggering. Over the last few days there have been rumours about the next move of one time Arsenal hero Samir Nasri.
After a season in which he has been very poor and only scored twice it seems that Man City have decided that he is surplus to requirements at The Etihad. The player, that they signed from Arsenal for £25 million, is now being linked with a move to French League two side Monaco.
One thing is for sure City are going to have take a serious hit on the player, perhaps selling him for around the £10 milion mark. Nasri’s big money pay days will be at end (well relatively anyhow) as he is unlikely to earn £175k a week anywhere else.
It does beg the question though might a return to Arsenal be a possibility. Well I know the player has burned a lot of bridges with the fans, but does the 25 year old still have the respect of the manager and the team? Quite possibly. Wenger clearly rates Nasri as he was very sorry to let him go. Meanwhile Nasri seems to harbour some affection for the club, even though he has been a little bit disrespectful in tweets. He went to the game against West Ham recently running the gauntlet of irate Gunners fans.
So, and it is a big if, if they management team fancy a reunion what would they be getting? Is he the player he was three seasons ago?
There’s an intriguing article here on the always excellent Squwaka blog which outlines his problems. It suggests that the Frenchman might be being playing out of position at City which has seriously dented his confidence.
He has always dreamt of playing in the hole for a top European club, this hasn’t been the case at Manchester City where he finds himself on the wing in a two-sided role. He is there to create from out wide by cutting in but also to make it difficult for other teams to penetrate through the middle by tucking in when they have the ball. His efforts with the ball have been good, a pass completion rate of 91% is excellent.
However only 54% of these are forward passes, indicating a lack of incisive play. Nasri has created 32 chances this season although mostly from set-pieces where he has an array of enormous men to aim at hence his tally of only 3 assists.
With Arshavin out the door, Gervinho wayward at best and Oxlade Chamberlain not quite capturing his early form Arsenal could clearly use a player who can play behind the striker, but also wide if necessary. I guess he wouldn’t start every game (but at least he would give Santi a break), but I am sure Wenger would find much more use for his undoubted talents than Roberto Mancini.
The Arsenal manager clearly knows how to get the best out of the Frenchman – I wonder if he would like another opportunity. Talented players with this amount of Premiership experience don’t come along at cut-down prices too often.
So Arsenal fans would you take Sami back at a cut-down price and on sensible wages?