Nasri Set To Miss Barca Game but Wenger Confirms He Won’t Buy
Samir Nasri has been Arsenal’s best player this season, so Wenger must have been feeling his compatriots pain when the 23 year-old midfielder pulled up with a hamstring injury against Huddersfield in the F.A Cup. After chasing a long ball from the returning Almunia, Nasri pulled up, and every Arsenal fans’ breath was held, hoping that it would be nothing serious, and Nasri would be back to terrorise the opposition defence in a couple of short minutes. But it won’t be minutes that Arsenal will have to wait for Nasri’s return, it will be weeks.
Wenger had risked Nasri for the game, and now admits his regret at doing so, as it looks as if the injury could rule Nasri out for the next thee weeks – that is including Arsenal’s massive clash with Spanish giants Barcelona. But will Wenger buy a replacement for Nasri in the remaining day of the transfer window? Take a guess.
The Arsenal manager was reluctant to predict when Nasri would return, but had a go nevertheless:
“Nasri looks to have a serious hamstring injury. Usually it is three weeks. We have to see if it is a grade 1, it will be two weeks, so we will see. It is very difficult to predict.
“I have now regrets because the plan was to play Rosicky, but he was still too weak because he was sick, so I took the gamble on Nasri. It backfired, but he could have come on and that happened as well.
“We are at the stage of the season where we play so many games that to lose bodies is very difficult for us. But Samir is a big blow.”
Arsenal play Barcelona on the 16th February, which means that if Nasri recovers in two weeks, he could play some part at least in the Champions League match. However, if it is three weeks out that Nasri must suffer, he will certainly miss Arsenal’s biggest test of the season. It is so unlucky for Arsenal that the player who has been in such fantastically blistering form this season is the one who could miss the match that he could make such a difference in, and showcase his skills against the likes of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and so on.
A familiar quote that passes Wengers lips nowadays is:
“No, we will not sign anyone.”
He has said it again. Instead of splashing the cash on a player like Eden Hazard who has expressed his desire to play for Arsenal, Wenger will recall Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Henri Lansbury, who are currently on loan spells. This could irritate those Arsenal fans becoming more and more frustrated by the lack of movement in the transfer window, especially considering the big games coming up as Arsenal challenge for both the Premier League and Champions League in the next few games or so.
The calmer Arsenal fans with more faith in Wenger will once again respect his decision not to sign anyone in the January transfer window, and happily see the younger players step up and help to take on the big teams. Wenger has never been one for a knee-jerk reaction, but we will have to wait and see if his patience and relaxed attitude towards transfers pays off against such a good side in Barcelona without their top player in Nasri.
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