Would you believe that Samir Nasri will decide the fate of a team’s UEFA Champions League berth by the end of this season? Well that appears to be the case. If he stays at Arsenal or makes a much anticipated move to Manchester City, the players’ club will in turn be playing in the world’s top club competition.
With the Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona saga over, Arsenal are in desperate need of someone to replace their former skipper’s role on the pitch. However, the man best suited to replace the young legend is already on the Arsenal wage books. No, it’s not Jack Wilshere, who undoubtedly has a brilliant future ahead of him and may one day be the footballer we all expect him to become, but it is Samir Nasri.
Nasri served as a debutant for Cesc many a time while he was out with various injuries and he has more than held his own. Nasri has the ability to take on defenders, pick out the precise final pass or to even be the man scoring goals himself. Nasri’s skill set was good enough for Wenger to play him as a winger just to get him into the lineup. With no Fabregas, Nasri would have the keys to the Arsenal attack and would have the opportunity to escalate his status to one of the elite footballers in the world.
Arsenal have all the necessary pieces, but after seeing their opening game in the 2011-12 season Arsenal it’s evident that they are missing someone to call the shots. Spending the money to keep Nasri is just as good as an investment as going out and purchasing a youngster or a replacement. The question remains whether or not Arsene Wenger is willing to splash that kind of money or if Samir Nasri has his heart set on moving on.
If Nasri does elect to move on, the likely destination will be Manchester City, if only to say that Manchester United can’t snatch him up. Manchester City often play with three “defensive midfielders” with Yaya Toure nicking his usual role to play more towards goal and keeping two players in a traditional holding role.
This has been excellent for City’s defense, which allowed the fewest goals in the league last season. However, offensively they have struggled. Despite spending ridiculous amounts of money to improve the talent level, City have lacked inspiration in the final third and really fall short of the other top 5 clubs in the Premiership when it comes to playing entertaining football.
The introduction of Samir Nasri would allow Yaya Toure fill into the second holding midfielder role that Roberto Mancini seems to be insistent on, but at the same time he can continue to get forward as he has shown he can in a City shirt. Meanwhile, Nasri and David Silva would allow for multiple ways to supply Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and company with goal scoring opportunities.
Either way, both teams will need the ability of a creative playmaker to give their team a decisive edge on their way to Champions League qualification.
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