Howdie folks and welcome to a Friday blog that normally previews a game… but with Andorra vs England taking centre stage, it’s given me some time to look at our wingers, and today’s article is part one, which focuses on the prodigy which is Samir Nasri.
Samir Nasri joined us from Marseille on 11th June 2008.
His performances over the last two years for both his club and country had caught the eye of many clubs including some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Arsene, of course had been on the case for many years before, keeping a close eye on the boy since his early years at Marseille.
From Algerian descent, Nasri was born in France, and grew up in an area called La Gavotte Peyret just outside of Marseille. He had often played on the streets and the player claims that is where he actually learnt and practised the majority of his skills. He used to be part of a gang at a young age and subsequently played for the local “gang team”. Eventually, he was signed by a small club called Pennes Mirabeau at the tender age of 8 years; his parents both instrumental in getting Samir off the streets. He spent two seasons at Pennes Mirabeau before being eventually being scouted by Olympique de Marseille.
Samir is a product of Marseille’s youth academy and joined them at 9 years old. He made his debut at the age of 17 four seasons ago and clocked up 24 appearances that season, managing to hit the net too. Over the subsequent two seasons, the young Frenchman went on to really make a name for himself, comparisons to Zidane were starting to appear everywhere. In his career at Marsielle, he appeared 121 times scoring 11 goals.
In the summer of 2008, he moved to Arsenal, to the delight of Arsene and Arsenal fans alike. Arsene was particularly happy to secure the services of the young Frenchman:
“We are delighted to be signing Samir Nasri. He is young, quick and technically an outstanding player. He has shown great potential with his performances for Marseille and the French national team over the past two seasons and he will add great quality to our squad.”
And Nasri was equally delighted at joining the Gunners and he said when he joined:
“I’m very happy to become an Arsenal player, it means such a lot to me. This is a very important step in my life as a football player because Arsenal is a massive club. I really hope everything will go well for me here. I will do my best for Arsenal and its fans and I am honoured to be part of such a great football club.”
Nasri started his Arsenal career against West Brom in the Premier League and was an instant hit with his trickery, cunning, footwork, pace and ability to bring others into the game. He scored the only goal of the game, which gave the home team all three points. The 60,000+ support including the West Brom supporters gave him a standing ovation and it was a debut that gave all fans hope for the season ahead. A slightly below form appearance against Fulham was followed up by another goal, this time against FC Twente in the Champions League and another exciting performance against Newcastle at the Emirates.
Nasri has settled well and can be a big player for us this season. And Gael Clichy had a few good words for his fellow countryman;
“Samir is a bit like Hleb, he can play right, left and centre. No one knows him here but I am sure you won’t have to wait long to get to know him. He proved in France he could play for a big team and I am sure [he will prove himself] here after a few months because you always need a few months to adapt to the English football. I hope he does well for the team, the Club and for himself because he is a good guy, he is a friend of mine. I hope he will show everyone that he deserves to be in one of the biggest clubs in the world and can play here for many years.”
In the last couple of days, French paper L’Equipe, who were the first paper to break the news last summer interviewed Samir about his start for Arsenal and it was a bouyant interview. Talking about his first goal and his move to Arsenal, Nasri said:
“Getting my first goal was special to me, I could not have wished for a better start. All the talk has been very flattering, especially when you consider what Pires achieved at Arsenal. I am following a special training programme to help my development. The English league is very difficult compared to Ligue 1, with more movement and intensity. The opportunity to play at Arsenal should help me reach the highest international level. I am not far off, but I hope to have an important role in the French team in the future.”
He could well be the next Zizou, or the next Pires; in my opinion, he will definitely be a very exciting player for us in the Arsene Wenger mould. Arsene’s also commented on Samir’s start and recently said:
“With us I think it is best if Samir cuts his teeth on the flanks. That doesn’t mean I will not use him in the centre. However, we are satisfied with the way things are going at present. He has fit perfectly into the team mould. I can only praise him for his talent and intelligence.”
Great praise from Arsene, a bright start at Arsenal. A big future for the kid, consistency is the key.