Monday 07 Jan
Updated Monday 07 Jan 12:34
First Team

Pellegrini: Nasri will continue to improve his performances

Samir Nasri in action against Birmingham City


Manuel Pellegrini has backed Samir Nasri to build on his encouraging West Ham United debut.

The French midfielder caught the eye during Saturday’s 2-0 Emirates FA Cup third-round win over Birmingham City at London Stadium – his first competitive appearance since November 2017.

Nasri joined the Hammers on New Year’s Eve after completing a ban for receiving an intravenous drip, having proved his fitness and form during a month-long training stint at Rush Green.

And manager Pellegrini believes there is a lot more to come from the two-time Premier League champion as he gets ever more used to his new professional surroundings.

“I think there were a lot of things to take from the game and one of them was Samir Nasri’s play after a long time without playing an official game,” he confirmed.

“I was very happy with the way he played. He is a player who gives you time with the ball and has good technique and the ball is always around him.

“I was never worried about Samir because I saw him working for so many days in December so I was sure he was able to play.”

Samir is a player who gives you time with the ball and has good technique and the ball is always around him

Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini will now surely be tempted to hand Nasri his first Premier League start since the Chilean himself picked the 31-year-old, in his Manchester City team at Southampton in May 2016, when West Ham host Arsenal on Saturday.

However, the Hammers boss was being non-committal when asked if the No18 would indeed start against the team he represented 125 times between 2008-11.

“He will now be considered in different games and the next one is Arsenal,” Pellegrini continued. “We don’t know if he will start or be on the bench but now he has demonstrated that he is back and he will continue to improve his performances as he plays more games.”