Friday, September 09, 2016
Samir Nasri will be preparing for his Sevilla debut against Las Palma
It was April and Nasri had just scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over West Brom at the Etihad Stadium. It was his first start since October after a six-month lay-off with a thigh injury, and the Frenchman was already envisioning a central role for himself in Guardiola's revolution.
Fast forward a few months and his boldness appears ill-judged. Guardiola ordered an overweight Nasri to train separately to the rest of the squad in pre-season, and the midfielder's only playing time came with a 15-minute cameo against West Ham before he completed his loan move to Sevilla.
Nasri insists Guardiola fought for him to stay "until the last moment", but it is tempting to wonder whether the new coach was really so conflicted. Nasri's comments do not always tally with reality, after all.
When he was left out of City's Champions League squad for the knockout stages in February, for example, he bizarrely declared he would happily finish his career at the club.