Samir Nasri has signed a new five-year contract at Manchester City as reward for his superb season in 2013/14 under Manuel Pellegrini. Nasri was a key player in City’s title win, scoring 11 goals, including the opener in the last league game of the season at home to West Ham which saw the Premier League trophy return to the Etihad after a one-year hiatus.
The Frenchman’s new deal sees him commit to the club until 2019 and is the latest in a series of long-term renewals overseen by City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain. The club have a clear strategy of tying their best players down on sizable contracts, and the midfielder’s form of last season has seen him join the club’s core of elite players.
Nasri, who was criticised when he joined City back in 2011 for what many saw as a money-driven decision to leave Arsenal, has won two league titles and a League Cup since he moved to the Etihad.
His first season saw a seamless transition into the City first-team. He was excellent, a hub of creativity in a midfield full of talent, and along with the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Mario Balotelli, he was central to delivering the club’s first league title in 44 years.
However, his second season, the last under the guidance of former boss Roberto Mancini, saw a dramatic downturn in form, and it looked likely he would be sold last summer, but the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini changed everything.
The Chilean saw Nasri as a key player and the renewed positivity after the breakdown of his relationship with Mancini elevated Nasri to new heights. He produced his best performances in a City shirt as they won two trophies and played the best football they’ve managed in many years.
Pellegrini’s open, attacking style, with a clear focus on giving his creative midfielders freedom to roam, has been perfect for Nasri. His relationship with Silva has blossomed, with the two linking up to great effect for much of the last campaign.
Nasri starts game out wide, but will drift inside and look to play short passes with City’s other attacking players, a fluidity that has brought the very best out of him.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Nasri said of his decision to sign a new deal:
I’m really happy to have signed this contract and to have committed my future with City.
I’m 27 now and if you listen to some of the best managers in the game, they say that a midfield player’s best years are between 27 and 30 so I hope that I will give my best years to City.
It took me time to adjust to living in Manchester because when you move here from London, it is a big change, but last year everything was perfect – I enjoyed my football and I love living in Manchester, feel very settled and I think that showed on the pitch.
That’s why I’ve agreed this new contract – because I feel very much at home. Our supporters have been right behind me and it gives me the confidence to play my best game.
Now I’m looking forward to the new season and to defending our title again.
After his miserable season during City’s weak title defence in 2012/13, Nasri knows the importance of maintaining his current performance level. He will be desperate to show his five-year deal was justified.
Written by Rob Pollard