‘This is revenge for him’ - Pellegrini expects motivated Nasri

Samir Nasri West Ham
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The new West Ham midfielder is back after a 18-month doping ban and his manager expects that to drive him

Samir Nasri should be motivated by revenge after returning from a doping ban, according to his manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The midfielder signed with West Ham after his suspension expired and is eligible to feature right away, and may do so for the club’s FA Cup match against Birmingham on Saturday.

Nasri has plenty of experience in the Premier League having played with Arsenal and later Manchester City, where he featured for Pellegrini and won a league title in 2013-14.

And Pellegrini believes the player he had at the Etihad Stadium is similar to the Nasri he can see today, noting he should be driven to succeed due to a desire for revenge.

“Is he going to be the same player we saw at Man City? I suppose, because he knows that this is revenge for him. He is motivated, working hard,” Pellegrini said.

“He must demonstrate it with his performances. He is a player whose value would be a lot of money, but we have to wait for him to play. I trust him, that’s why he is here.

“He has a lot of quality and I am absolutely sure he will be a player that makes a difference. He is looking very well. He has lost some kilos in his weight.”

The 31-year-old Nasri has seen very little actual football due to the ban, though he did play eight games in the Turkish Super Lig for Antalyaspor in the fall of 2017 after his departure from Sevilla.

However, Pellegrini believes that long lay-off won’t harm Nasri’s skills, believing his quality is not something that is lost.

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“Football is like riding a bicycle when you are a small boy — you never forget how to do it,” Pellegrini added.

“Samir is a very technical player and I am sure he will play the same way as he did before. I trust him a lot and what he will give our team.

“Is this his last chance to do something big? I suppose. But he can play four or five years more without any problems.”