Monday 20 November 2017

Samir Nasri: Arsenal can’t compete for titles at top level

Jumping ship: Samir Nasri feels he is now playing for a side with a genuine chance of winning major trophies Photo: Action Images
Jumping ship: Samir Nasri feels he is now playing for a side with a genuine chance of winning major trophies Photo: Action Images

Telegraph staff

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri believes though Arsenal remain a big club they can no longer compete financially with the Premier League elite, the politics of the club forcing Arsène Wenger to gamble on youth while top talent like Cesc Fabregas is lost.

Nasri's move earlier this month was the second significant departure from the Emirates this summer following Fabregas’ transfer to Barcelona, and the Frenchman feels he is now at a club on the cusp of creating history.

Nasri’s debut for City, a 5-1 victory over Tottenham on Sunday, was in stark contrast to his former club’s 8-2 annihilation at the hands of Manchester United, and the 24-year-old does not believe Arsenal are in a comfortable enough financial position to rectify their situation.

"Arsenal remains a big club, but the building of Emirates Stadium changed a lot of things,” Nasri told L’Equipe.

“It has changed the ambitions, so far. But it is not Arsène Wenger, it is the club's politics, the officials.

"Arsenal doesn't have the same funds. They can't make the same coups as before in the transfer market. They are rather forced to sell their best players and bet on young ones.”

Speaking about his own departure, he added: "My decision was made in June. I wanted to leave after our difficult end of season. Arsene wanted me to stay. I'm glad Arsenal got a good sum. I prefer to leave like that than at end of my contract. I did the same with Marseille

“Yes, it was [the right time to leave], there are sure signs. The departure of Cesc to Barcelona is one of them. The defeat against Birmingham in the League Cup final was very harmful for the minds. Today I feel like I’m in a team where I can win titles.”

Yet to win a major trophy, Nasri turned down the opportunity to join Manchester United earlier this summer saying he wanted to be a part of making history.

"From the start there was unanimity about my arrival at Manchester City," he said.

"The coach, the executive director Garry Cook and chairman Khaldoun al-Mubarak, I felt everyone wanted me.

"The players teased me for my first training session. They said: 'You needed time to come. We are waiting for you for one month and a half'. I know most of them, playing against them.

"Training with all those good players every day, I will improve. During sessions, there is a big intensity. At Arsenal it was already good, but here it is an upper level.

"When we finish the session with a match, you really feel like you're in an official competition. There are 22 players of a very high level. In the Premier League, very few clubs can show such wealth."

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