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How Samir Nasri went from being the ‘new Zidane’ to an outcast | Nick Ames

Samir Nasri has drifted to the periphery at Manchester City and, with a doping case hanging over his head, time is running out for a resurrection

Samir Nasri had taken to Premier League life straightaway, but within three months of his Arsenal debut something was bothering him. The season had, on a collective level, lapsed into a now familiar pattern of inconsistency but Nasri thought he and his team-mates were being treated poorly. They had just beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but before the next match, a home game with Wigan Athletic that became infamous for the treatment meted out to Emmanuel Eboué from the stands, he railed against the “acharnement” – widely translated as relentless criticism and perhaps better shortened to invective – he felt Arsenal had received from the press.

Almost nine years have passed and Nasri may reflect that those were the days when, at 21 and hyped as the “new Zidane”, there was far less to worry about. He is in limbo now, remaining within a Manchester City setup that has little choice but to integrate him while concrete interest from elsewhere fails to materialise. The obvious question is how has it come to this for a player who still seems too young for such a sharp decline in status?

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