Date: 18th August 2011 at 7:17pm
Written by:
Samir Nasri Cesc Fabregas

"Don't worry son, we can still skype each other"

If reports are to be believed it’s now only a matter of hours before Samir Nasri joins Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor at Manchester City.

The French midfielder will be heading to Eastlands for a fee of around £25 million and wages of £160k a week according to the majority of reports.

Earlier this Summer it looked as though United were going to secure Nasri’s services with Arsenal even claiming the Reds were the first club -and only club- to make a bid. Talks were supposedly held between representatives of the club and the player but never really got off the ground. It wasn’t long before City entered the fray and United dropped out. A few weeks ago Sir Alex Ferguson pointed out that he felt Nasri would either join City or stay at Arsenal, meaning the chances of him coming to Old Trafford seemed to have evaporated.

It’s obvious that United simply weren’t willing to meet the players wage demands while City had no such qualms, the question is did we do the right thing or should we have paid the Frenchman the money he wanted?

The most obvious point to be raised is whether United truly need him. There’s no denying he’s a good player, but would he elevate our team or simply add to the depth of the squad?

Last season was Nasri’s true breakthrough year, although he’d been at Arsenal since 2008 and had enjoyed the ocasional highs- not least a brace against us in his debut season, it wasn’t until 2010 that he really floursihed. Ten Premier league goals in just 28 starts, is a record most strikers would be proud of let alone a winger/attacking midfielder such as Nasri.

Then there’s the quality of some of his strikes, with the goals against Porto in the Champions League and Fulham being simply breathtaking.

It wasn’t a wholly convincing season for Nasri though, after all of the 16 goals he scored, by New Year’s Day he’d scored 13 of them. The back end of last season saw a dip in form, at a time when Arsenal needed him the most. There’ also Nasri’s lack of assists, he only had one to his name last season, which isn’t really good enough for an attacking player- especially when you’ve got the likes of Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas alongside you.

Would Nasri get into United’s starting XI? Probably, but only as a rotational player, I’m confident that if Sir Alex was asked to pick his strongest side then Nasri wouldn’t be part of it. Let’s not forget, Nani, Ashley Young, Ji Sung Park, Tony Valencia and Wayne Rooney can all play in similar positions to Nasri. Then there’s the emergence of Tom Cleverley, regular readers of this site will know that I’m a massive fan of his and truly believe he’s a future United star in the making. Do we really need to be jettisoning a player that’s shown he’s now ready for the first team after coming through the ranks in favour of a big money highly paid signing, I think not.

Nasri’s Premier league experience could have been useful, plus there’s no denying that on his day he can be a truly mesmerising player. However as Sir Alex looks to the future, Manchester United have a great young squad, that’s perhaps one holding midfielder away from being able to challenge Barcelona, Nasri would be a good addition but not a great one.

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63 responses to “Should United Have Gone All Out For Samir Nasri?”

  1. Wooderbeen says:

    Interesting that the Gooners are using the ‘moving for the money’ cliche. Does it really need to be pointed uot that they haven’t won anything in six years and that City finished above them in the league last year? Okay if this was a fluke or just ‘one good season’ but I don’t think it will be. I’m not denying that City can offer a wage package that most other clubs cannot (or in United’s case, will not), but we’re a better team than Arsenal at the moment and he’s made a good career move.

    For City’s part I’m unsure about Nasri. He certainly won’t detract from our squad and he’s got to be better than Barry, but I still think he’s a bit of a gamble. It will be an interesting season.

    Great article again, Motty!

    • Justin Mottershead says:

      Cheers Woodsy, I think some people have missed the point. I’m not saying Nasri wouldn’t be a good signing for City, just that United can afford to miss out on him.

  2. Manny Urbanus says:

    Hey, Justin,

    It is always interesting to read the playful to testy verbal rows on MU and MC blogsites, as MU fans love to throw down on MC sites, while Citizens like to do the same on red pages! Entertaining, sometimes stimulating.

    I felt that your article is fairly level-headed and good (I am a City fan). However, Nasri would clearly be a first choice starter for any EPL team. He has the combinations of experience, speed, creative talent, heart, and finishing ability. He regularly eats up space and defenders off the touch and via one touches to teammates. He certainly has room to improve with his assists (as you mention), but I imagine that he was often part of the chain before the moment of assisting (pushing out to other wingers or to forward middies and other strikers) or scoring himself. Cleverly is the young mold of what a young Nasri already is now. You can actually tell us that you would prefer Cleverly over Nasri? Let’s see what Ashley Young looks like with a strong right back on him–say Richards from City, as West Bromers are not a true test (just like Swansea is not a true test for any Citizens). I would say that Park and Nasri are a draw, but I would put Nani ahead of him. Therefore, Nasri would certainly start for MU. Who knows, he may stay at Arsenal, end up at Chelsea or MU–or even City? The current reports only seem like the same dribble that we have been fed all summer.

    • Justin Mottershead says:

      Ashley Young looked more than capable against City last season when he laid on Darren Bent’s goal at Villa Park. As for your assertion that Nasri would get in ahead of Park, well as I said in my article for the strongest possible XI I don’t think Nasri would make it.

      He’s had an indifferent past six months, while Park has proven particularly in the title decider against Chelsea his value to the team. Cleverley, I’ve already stated through countless posts on this site, that I rate him and as I said in the article I don’t think United should eschew him in favour of a big money highly paid signing. Don’t forget Andrei Kanchelskis had more experience than a certain David Beckham in 1995, ditto Paul Ince and Paul Scholes.

      When Ruud Van Nistelrooy left people said we couldn’t rely on Ronaldo for goals. Youth is the key to ongoing success- you even mention Richards someone who City didn’t pay mega money for. I would rather see Cleverley ahead of Nasri. Tom’s class and is going to prove it this season.

    • jose says:

      Nasri is not a winger so don’t see why you compare him to young and Nani, There is also Valencia who would start ahead of Nasri on the wing. Nasri would play centrally if playing for united.
      If I remember rightly Young did face up against Richards in the Community shield, first competitive game for United and I think the second half says it all. The defensive tactics of Mancini are not a tru reflection of the league either.

  3. pedmachine says:

    The hornets nest was certainly stoked here. When you look at Milner and Barry, you see players who helped Villa finish..sixth. Barry is not going to get any better and Milner has been a huge disappointment. Nasri is a better footballer than both of these. I agree that he “tailed-off” in the last half of last season, but the whole team tailed-off, not just Nasri.

    I’ve also said on many blogs that teams like United, Chelsea and Arsenal have had a bridgehead from which to build for many years especially post-Sky. City didn’t have that. It was generally a rearguard action. City is now in a position where it is building that bridgehead. Targets were set for last season and exceeded and targets have been set for this season which are demonstrably higher and City therefore has to take up the challenge. The acquisition of Aguero and probably Nasri show that it is happening. SAF realised after the Champions League that his team might have punched above its weight in the league but were sadly lacking on the greatest stage of all so did something about it quickly at the end of the season. Young players who want to win something to sprinkle amongst his seasoned champions. SAF was also gracioius in realising that there is a threat across town which will not go away. City was slower out of the purchasing blocks but the squad is looking tasty. There is still the asumption that City is a rich man’s toy but if you look at the infrastructure investment being made by ADG in east Manchester even a cynic would admit there is a long-haul feel to it not just driven by Eithad. Many United fans don’t like this, they hide behind their history and denigrate City for “1 FA Cup in 35 years”. City is just your latest challenge. You have overcome those of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. If you were true fotball fans which many of you are not, you are simply United fans, you would say “Bring it on”. Follow the lead of your Manager. By spending the money that you have this summer, that is in effect what your Manager is saying.

    The FA Cup won’t be the last silverware heading into City’s newly-constructed trophy cabinet, I think we all know that and the ADG is a determined group where second best is not good enough. So the challenge will not go away.

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