Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri
NameSamir Nasri
BirthdayJune 26, 1987



Long touted as the ‘new Zinedine Zidane’ thanks to his upbringing in Marseille and Algerian heritage, Nasri was purchased by Arsenal in 2008 and proved a more than able replacement for winger Alex Hleb.

Beginning his career with Marseille aged just nine years old, Nasri began to play in Ligue 1 in the 2004-05 season where he made an impression at 17. He was involved in the French national set-up at Under-16, -17, -18, -19 and -21 level and has been part of the French national team system since the age of 14, even if he failed to secure a place in the squad for the 2010 World Cup.

In the 2006-07 campaign he was named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year ahead of Karim Benzema and 12 months later joined Arsenal for a fee in the region of £15 million. His impact was immediate as the midfielder scored on his debut against West Brom and enjoyed a productive first season in England, famously scoring twice in a 2-1 win over Manchester United in November 2008.

Though a broken leg sustained in pre-season hindered his progress at the start of the 2009-10 season, Nasri continued to display his qualities either wide in a front three, in a withdrawn central role or tucked in behind a lone striker, proving an able deputy for captain Cesc Fabregas when required.

Indeed, his performances earned him rave reviews and he was the subject of interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea with only a year remaining on his contract in July 2011. Arsene Wenger had said he expected Nasri to remain at Arsenal, but it soon became clear the midfielder did not intend to prolong his stay and City made their move, signing him on a four-year deal a week before the end of the transfer window.

Strengths: Nasri boasts formidable technique and his vision and his imagination make him an unpredictable opponent. His passing and movement is excellent and his versatility is a real asset.

Weaknesses: He could be more potent in front of goal and Nasri often appears reluctant to track back and help out in defence. He needs to be more consistent if he is to reach the level of Fabregas.

Career high: A quite brilliant goal against Porto in March 2010 when he cut in from the right wing, dribbled past four opponents and finished from a tight angle. The strike was named Arsenal’s goal of the season.

Career low: His surprise exclusion from the France squad that travelled to the World Cup finals in 2010.

Style: Intelligent, creative, patient, a stylish playmaker.

Quotes: “It is annoying. The work we do is not getting the credit it deserves because we are not winning silverware. It is unfair because I think we have more merit as a club than those who have built their teams with millions of pounds whereas Arsenal have brought in young footballers, who have come here to play a certain kind of football and who have developed.” Nasri on Arsenal’s trophy drought, April 2010.

Trivia: Nasri’s partner is French tennis player Tatiana Golovin.

Samir Nasri