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Samir Nasri Can Step Into Cesc Fabregas’ Shoes at Arsenal

“That’s where I play best, that’s how I was formed. In every age group at youth level, I often played through the middle. I’ve been playing out wide for two years with Arsenal but feel more at ease in the centre of the pitch.”

These words were recently uttered by the only person on the Arsenal squad that could be as strong as Cesc Fabregas in the center of midfield.  Yes, there is Jack Wilshere (too young right now), Tomas Rosicky (not the same after that long-standing injury), and Andrei Arshavin (dangerous, but inconsistent). With Cesc Fabregas all but certain to reach his dream of playing in a Barcelona jersey next season, Arsene Wenger’s choice really isn’t one at all.  He has to pick Samir Nasri.

When Samir Nasri was purchased in the summer of 2008 by the Gunners to take over for Barcelona bound Alexander Hleb, he had already proved himself to be a superstar in France.  Coming off of a season with Ligue 1 side Marseille where he scored seven goals and had 14 assists in all competitions as well as walking away with Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year award in the previous campaign, Nasri had drawn comparisons to the great Zidane as a scintillating playmaker with a gift for the precise pass.  Debuting against West Bromwich Albion that August, he made an instant impression by scoring the only goal just four minutes into the match.  The 2008-2009 season would have Nasri finish with seven goals and six assists as a winger.  Although he missed out on a large part of the 2009-2010 season with a broken leg, Nasri was still able to make an impact with his club upon his return.  His five goals (three of those in the Champions League) and four assists showed that he could be an asset.

So far this season, Nasri has been playing to his strong potential.  A brace against West Bromwich as well as two penalty conversions against Tottenham in a Carling Cup match have shown his ability to turn a game around.   His performance against Romania over the weekend in Euro 2012 qualifying was excellent as he was the orchestrator of many of Les Bleu’s scoring chances.  While Cesc will retain his position when he comes back from injury, there is no mistaking that Nasri has shown himself worthy to be the stalwart in the midfield for Arsenal.  Next season, there will be a new player in Cesc’s position, like it or not.  Hopefully, it will be number 8.

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  1. Fiston

    February 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    ok,I know everbody know Nasri is the best in Arsenal so
    try to remember nasri in marsseill we believe nasri for all position

  2. Thomas

    October 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    This article points to a much bigger problem facing Arsenal over the last few trophy less seasons.

    Long lauded for their sound business practice (ie, not spending beyond their means), you’re seeing a gap develop between those who can bring in established players, and those who cannot.

    Ever since their last title, Arsenal have been selling off established players, or losing them to age, only to replace them with young, talented, but largely unproven commodities.

    Losing their best player (Fab), and replcing him with youth and potential (though you could say Nasri has somewhat established himself), seems like business as usual for Arsenal.

  3. Lee

    October 13, 2010 at 7:45 am

    You’re wrong about one thing in the first part of the article – rosicky has been playing awesome this year — !

  4. Andy

    October 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    You guys are forgetting Nasri is only 23 years old and has spent most of his Arsenal career playing out of his best position. Wenger has big plans for Nasri, trust me, he will emerge as a top-class central midfielder over the next few years…

  5. emdoubleu

    October 12, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Nasari is a better finisher than fabregas, slotted home two goals against west brom with left and right foot. I think nasari is more attack minded and would be comfortable playing right behind a striker in a roaming, henry roll ,like he played with arsenal.

  6. Jake Islas

    October 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    no he can’t. unlike Nasri, Fabregas relishes the big moment, Nasri disappears when the situation gets tough, or when we need a goal in a big moment. he refuses to pull the trigger and tries to dribble it in the net. he plays scared unless it’s a lesser team. 2 PK’s in a carling cup match and 2 goals vs WBA while already down 3-0 doesn’t say much to me. Wilshere will be the man to replace Cesc, if it is Nasri, Arsenal is in big trouble. he doesn’t have the intangible mental aspect that Cesc and Jack have.

    • ruffneckc

      October 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      @Jake Islas. Are you forgetting Nasri’s brace against Man Utd a couple of seasons ago? He has been good but needs to release the ball more quickly I feel. When to dribble and when to pass is what he has to work on, IMO.

    • emdoubleu

      October 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Imo the difference in jack and sami is that jack will hit the ball cross field. You never see nasari hitting a long ball. Don’t know if that isn’t what wenger wants or if he isn’t comfortable doing it. But fabregas will pick a pass at any distance and its on the money. Perfect exapmple the quick free kick in champions league two years ago, that bendtner put in the net. That’s what we need in a central attacking midfielder.

    • Andrei

      October 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      “…unlike Nasri, Fabregas relishes the big moment…”

      Hmm… When was the last time Fabregas relished the big moment? Last couple of years he was virtually invisible against Chelsea or MU if played at all.

  7. Akhil

    October 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Aren’t you forgetting Aaron Ramsey?

    • emdoubleu

      October 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      Aaron ramsey is a box-box. Midfielder. Soon as he comes back. I hope wenger switches to a 41212. With the midfield ramsey, song, fabregas, nasari.

  8. jose

    October 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    remind me who did fabregas replace at arsenal.

    • emdoubleu

      October 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      I believe fabregas replaced, dutch play-maker, dennis berkamp (spelling).

      • Shargooner

        October 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm

        No he was brought in to replace Patrick Viera in the long run

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