Samir Nasri: Player Profile

Samir Nasri's Revival Is Sparking Manchester City's Title Push

Personal information
Full name: Samir Nasri
Date of birth: 26 June 1987
Age: 26
Place of birth: Marseille, France
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Club information
Current club: Manchester City
Number: 8

Youth career 
1995–1997: Pennes Mirabeau
1997–2004: Marseille

Senior career
2004–2008 Marseille 166 Appearances, 12 goals
2008–2011: Arsenal 125 Appearances, 27 goals
2011– Manchester City 116 Appearances, 19 goals

National team
2002–2003 France U16 16 Appearances, 8 goals
2003–2004 France U17 16 Appearances, 6 goals
2004–2005 France U18 4 Appearances, 0 goals
2005–2006 France U19 10 Appearances, 5 goals
2006–2007 France U21 4 Appearances, 0 goals
2007– France 41 Appearances, 5 goals

Samir Nasri became a City player when his transfer from Arsenal was completed on 24 August 2011.

Born and brought up in Marseille, Samir joined his hometown team at the age of nine and rose through their youth system before making his senior debut aged 17.

His relatively tender years were no barrier to Samir and he quickly established himself in the Marseille first team, playing in a central role behind two strikers.

He was named as Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year for 2006/07, and he made his senior international debut against Austria in March 2007 after playing for France at a succession of youth levels.

His rapid progress made it inevitable that major clubs around Europe would look in Samir’s direction, and he joined Arsenal in the summer of 2008 after appearing for France at that year’s European Championships.

Adapting to the rigours of English football proved to be no problem, and Samir made a fine start to his career at the Emirates Stadium when he scored on his Premier League debut, against West Brom in Arsenal’s opening match of the 2008/09 season.

His first year in England saw him make 44 appearances, with seven goals, but a broken leg sustained in pre-season forced him to the sidelines for the start of the following campaign.

He nevertheless bounced back from this blow to make over 30 appearances once fully fit, including a further five goals.

The upward curve of his career continued into 2010/11, where he bagged 15 goals in all competitions and underlined his status as one of Arsenal’s major creative threats.

Equally capable either out wide or in the middle, Samir was named as the French Player of the Year for 2010.

He won the Premier League title in his first season at City, scoring one of the most crucial goals of the season in the 2-1 victory over Chelsea in March.

However, the following season didn’t go as well. Nasri was on the periphery for much of last season—struggling for form, floundering when selected, and, quite rightly, spending a lot of time on the bench.

He and Mancini clashed, with City's former boss famously saying he wanted to "punch" the midfielder because of his tendency to remain on the fringes of matches rather than impose himself in the way he had done in his previous seasons in English football.

As Roberto Mancini's time at Manchester City was coming to an end, so too, it seemed, was Samir Nasri's. The Frenchman endured a difficult 2012/13 season and most observers felt sure a move away during the summer was the best thing for the player and the club.

Mancini was frustrated with a player he felt was extremely talented, but who wasn't trying hard enough.

He sanctioned the £25 million transfer that brought Nasri to the club after his outstanding season at Arsenal (where he looked like one of the most creative players in the Premier League), and he knew a player of his ability should have been at the heart of City's attacking play.

This season, however, has been a completely different story. Under Manuel Pellegrini, Nasri feels settled and happy, establishing himself as a regular in the first XI, and becoming central to everything City do going forward.

His touch, awareness, passing, vision, quick feet, footballing brain and, most importantly, confidence is back.

He is working harder and influencing games in a positive way again, and his place in City's starting line-up is secure.

Manchester City plan to offer in-form midfielder Samir Nasri a new contract at Eastlands before the end of this season, according to reports.

The highly rated France international’s current deal with the mega-rich north-west outfit still runs until June 30 2015, however, with the player having displayed such eye-catching form for City so far in this campaign, the club’s hierarchy are now keen to reward him for those displays.

This weekend Nasri will return to his ex club Arsenal and will be looking to showcase his creativity, form and dazzling displays that he has already shown this season.