Published On: Sun, Aug 28th, 2016

Guardiola: Formerly overweight Nasri can stay at City

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Before Joe Hart was jettisoned from first-team consideration, it appeared that Samir Nasri‘s days at Manchester City were numbered after the Frenchman turned up to pre-season training overweight.

Related: Nasri excluded from City friendlies to focus on weight loss

But the previously salad-dodging midfielder was introduced from the bench in Sunday’s 3-1 home defeat of West Ham United, and his energetic display over 16 minutes has encouraged new manager Pep Guardiola that he has a role to play this season.

“Nasri can stay. Samir arrived overweight, but after seven days, ten days, it was fantastic how he trained. His quality is another level,” Guardiola revealed post-match.

The former Arsenal man was excluded from City’s squad for the recent Champions League play-off with Steaua Bucharest, but will now try to stake a claim for regular minutes in both continental and domestic action.

Following his replacing of Nolito on 75 minutes, Nasri promptly began curating things with David Silva in particular, and it was this pair that started the move that culminated in Raheem Sterling‘s late, rolled finish.

“It depends on him,” Guardiola continued on Nasri. “If he wants to help us and stay to be part of something, it depends on him.”

Nasri won’t travel with the France squad for the international break, so he will have the opportunity to further ingratiate himself with Guardiola and potentially earn inclusion in the Sept. 10 clash with hated rival Manchester United.

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