Samir Nasri: West Ham signing relieved after first football in 13 months

Samir Nasri in action for West Ham
Samir Nasri’s last action had been for Turkish side Antalyaspor in November 2017

Samir Nasri said he was “relieved” after playing his first competitive football match in 13 months as his new club West Ham beat Birmingham City on Saturday.

The FA Cup third-round game was Nasri’s first since November 2017 following a doping ban.

“I felt good. Honestly I thought I would struggle with the rhythm more,” Nasri said.

“I’m just relieved that everything is behind me now.”

The ex-Manchester City player featured for 58 minutes before being replaced by Robert Snodgrass as goals from Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll saw the Hammers into the FA Cup fourth round, the draw for which takes place on Monday.

Nasri, who joined the Hammers on 31 December 2018, will now be in contention to face his former club Arsenal at the London Stadium next Saturday.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “I was very happy in the way he played. He is a player that gives you time with the ball, he has such good technique that the ball is always around him.

“He now will be considered in different games. Next is Arsenal – we don’t know if he will start or be on the bench but now he demonstrated that he is back and he will continue to improve his performances in every game he plays.”

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