From forgotten man to star midfielder: How Sevilla have transformed Nasri

The Frenchman arrived in Spain with plenty of doubters following a few poor years at Manchester City but he has since managed to sparkle under Jorge Sampaoli's tutelage


Few clubs can rival Sevilla in recent years in terms of how successfully they manage to recruit stars on the wane and rejuvenate them to high levels. 

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Ever Banega and Adil Rami are just two examples of players Sevilla have taken under their wing and given the tools to get back to the top following a few years of stagnation.

And the latest name who can be added to the list is Samir Nasri, a man who arrived at Sevilla with plenty of doubters following a few underwhelming seasons at Manchester City.

Once the subject of a big-money move from Arsenal, Nasri faded into the background at City but Sevilla have rescued him and morphed him back into the genius he once was.

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On loan from City, Nasri has excelled in his early days at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, scoring three goals in nine games in all competitions.

With a number of compatriots around him such as Rami, Steven N'Zonzi, Benoit Tremoulinas and Timothee Kolodziejczak, Nasri has been able to adapt to his surroundings rapidly.

Pep Guardiola was reportedly keen to keep hold of Nasri but Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli and transfer guru Monchi were able to convince Nasri that he could follow Banega's path and return to stardom with them.

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Sampaoli has played a massive role in bringing the best out of Nasri in Spain, deploying him as a central midfielder rather than a winger and giving him license to play important passes.

Losing Banega to Inter last summer was a blow but Nasri has softened it convincingly, quickly becoming a fan favourite through his impressive performances.

While Sevilla have enjoyed excellent success in the Europa League of late, improving in the Champions League remains the next step and Nasri recently scored the only goal in the victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

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So key to Sampaoli's attacking system, Nasri is on course to surpass Banega in terms of goals and help Sevilla reach the knockout phase of Europe's elite club competition.

But, in a big surprise, Sevilla are also making waves domestically having managed to climb to second in La Liga in what is a wide-open title race at the moment.

While Sevilla have had many success stories, they have also had a few bad ones as well when trying to bring in forgotten talents and trying to revitalise them, such as Marko Marin.

But from what we have seen in the infancy of the 2016-17 season, Nasri is destined to be one of Sevilla's biggest hits in what could prove to be a remarkable campaign for Sampaoli's in-form charges.