Are West Ham right to sign Samir Nasri?

Are West Ham right to sign Samir Nasri?

Eyebrows were raised on Monday when it was revealed that West Ham United would be taking a chance on ex-Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri.

The 31-year-old has been out of the game for 18 months following a suspension for breaching World Anti Doping Agency rules. Nasri was injected with a intravenous drip of 500 millilitres of water containing nutrients, which first saw him handed a six-month ban before an extra year was added to it.

As such, we haven’t seen him in action since November 2017 for Turkish Super League side Antalyaspor and he featured just eight times during his final season with Man City when current Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. His last moment of any note in England saw him sent off for Sevilla against Leicester City in the Champions League.

Still, that hasn’t stopped West Ham from snapping him up on a short-term £80,000-a-week contract, that he is set to sign in the new year when his ban has concluded. Meanwhile, the club are shirking at the idea of giving one of their top talents and potential future captain Declan Rice £30,000-a-week.

In truth, it’s West Ham all over.

Samir Nasri

Rice Contract Issues

Rice has been outstanding since being moved to defensive midfield, showing a level of composure, maturity and experience well beyond his years. He has proven across this time to have more than enough ability to play in West Ham’s first team now and will only get better as time goes on.

As for Nasri, he is already 31 and will only deteriorate from here on in. Despite it being a short-term deal, it certainly isn’t a good look to be giving somebody who many consider to be a mercenary nearly three times the wages that the club’s best young prospect.

Rice and his representatives certainly won’t have allowed this go unnoticed and it could well prove to be a huge problem if his requirements aren’t met. There won’t be a lack of suitors for him either, and it would be disastrous to lose Rice for the sake of just five months of Nasri, whose able level of contribution remains unknown. He will be desperately short of match fitness and trying to regain it midway through the season will be a huge task.

Financially it is slightly perplexing, but from a footballing standpoint there may well be some sense to it. The Hammers currently have an injury crisis in midfield, with Jack Wilshere, Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko all missing and they could do far worse than taking a 41-cap France international on until until the end of the season.

Declan Rice

Can they get something out of him?

At one point, Nasri was one of the most sought-after prospects in Europe and had bags of ability, not to mention that he has also played under Pellegrini before and shouldn’t have too many issues in settling into their style of play. That said, he hasn’t played 30+ league games in a single season since 2013/14 and being out of action for so longer won’t have made his chances of staying injury-free any better.

The last thing West Ham need is another high-wage, injury-prone player on their books. They are already suffering from the likes of Lanzini, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Winston Reid and Andy Carroll all being on big money but with little output this season. Nasri could be worth a gamble, but not one at £80,000-a-week. They should first take care of their own.

The frustration of West Ham’s supporters is understandable, with this being yet another questionable moment of the Gold/Sullivan ownership. Time will tell if Nasri is able to return to the levels that saw City pay £25m for him and Arsenal £12m. However, the lasting implications of the deal could be extremely damaging for the club.