Anderlecht sporting director Michael Verschueren has admitted that he wishes that he did not sign former Arsenal and Manchester City star Samir Nasri in the summer, but says that his side have been unlucky with injuries in what has been a nightmare season.
Regarded as one of Belgium’s biggest clubs, Anderlecht started the campaign full of optimism as they appointed ex-Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany as head coach while they signed several high-profile players, such as Nasri, Belgium international Nacer Chadli and Kemar Roofe from Leeds United.
A terrible run of results saw Kompany pushed into a background role, while the marquee summer additions have all spent lengthy periods on the sidelines.
Nasri, for example, has managed only nine matches and has not played since October 4, when he tore a hamstring against Charleroi. He has since suffered a tear in the abductor muscle, prolonging his spell away from action.
“If I had to do it again, would we have signed Samir Nasri? With what we know now, no,” he told Proximus. “We’re very worried about Nacer Chadli’s calf injury. If we had known about it, we might have acted differently. We’ve been unlucky. We wanted him to play more. You can get injured once, but for a second time, it’s not positive.
“Roofe? We looked at his medical history and he never had big problems. We’ve been unlucky.”
Meanwhile, he is optimistic that Jamaica international star Kemar Lawrence will prove to be an excellent addition, having acquired the 27-year-old left-back from the New York Red Bulls.
“We've been following him for a very long time. It was difficult, because New York didn't want to sell him at first and we found an agreement on the last day of the transfer window. We did a superb deal,” he said.
Anderlecht, who have won each of their last two matches, currently lie ninth in the standings but are four points short of the top six, who will playoff for European football next season. They have six fixtures remaining in which to make up the ground, beginning with a trip to second-placed Gent on Friday.