Samir Nasri was a gamble of a signing. The attacking midfielder, formerly of Marseille, Arsenal and Manchester City fame, had been out of the game for 18 months after using a banned substance to stay hydrated.
Taking on a player who was notably out of shape and out of practice was a risk for West Ham; but given his talent and previous relationship with Hammers maestro Manuel Pellegrini, it seemed to be a risk worth taking.
After a month at the club, he’s settled in incredibly well and has already cemented himself as a true Hammer. How has he done this, in such a short time, you ask? Easily. Since arriving at the club, Samir Nasri’s done the most West Ham thing he could possibly do: he’s gotten injured.
After playing just three games for West Ham, Nasri has joined a long list of senior team players on the treatment table – which does show he’s finding common ground with his teammates, and, hopefully, bonding over bandages.
It probably isn’t a huge surprise to find him injured so quickly. After not playing for 18 months, returning to first team football in the demanding Premier League was always a risk. We could be tempted to roll our eyes at yet another injury on our books, but the truth is, t’s a real shame for both Nasri and the club that he’s been missing in action. It turns out he’s quite a useful player for West Ham United.
We’ve only been able to see what Nasri can offer in three games – the FA Cup win against Birmingham, the league win against Arsenal – in which he delivered a stunning performance and influenced a tremendous win for the Hammers – and the slightly soul-destroying 2-0 league loss to Bournemouth. In just those three games, it’s clear to see he’s got so much to bring to the squad.
Nasri offers skill, vision, and drive. His performance in the Arsenal game was man-of-the-match worthy, had Declan not delivered his first goal in such emphatic style. Nasri was a driving force in that game, and the Hammers looked organised and threatening throughout. Nasri also provided the crucial assist for Declan’s goal; his first Premier League assist since April 2016.
It’s frustrating to see that this is a player who really does bring potential to the squad – especially if he becomes yet another signing who is ripe with the potential to get injured. However, if Nasri can get fit and strong and build back up to the Premier League tempo, he could prove to be a gamble that pays out.