Samir Nasri praises 'second dad' Arsene Wenger

Andy Hampson,Pa
Friday 26 August 2011 10:29 BST

Samir Nasri claims Arsene Wenger was like a "second dad" to him during his time at Arsenal.

French playmaker Nasri this week quit the Gunners to join Manchester City for a fee believed to be around £24million.

Wenger was reluctant to part with the 24-year-old but the former Marseille player had made clear his desire to leave and, with just one year left on his contract, the London club admitted defeat.

Yet despite his departure being a blow to the club, Nasri insists his three years with Arsenal, and particularly Wenger, made a big impression on him.

"I will never forget what he did for me," Nasri told City TV. "He was like a second dad.

"He came to pick me when I was at Marseille. I was an international but I have become the player I am now because of him.

"He always trusted me even when I was injured. When I came back he always gave me my chance.

"He was always there for me, always talked to me."

Wenger has been criticised heavily this summer for his failure to invest significantly in his squad and the ultimately futile battles to keep Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Nasri added: "I have seen the newspapers and people have been harsh with him but you cannot forget what he has done for Arsenal and English football.

"I respect him a lot and I will always be grateful for everything he has done for me."

Nasri's comments were published by City yesterday, a day after remarks in which he appeared to criticise Arsenal fans.

He will have the chance to explain further when he faces the press for the first time as a City player this morning.

The forward will attend a press conference with manager Roberto Mancini, who spent most of the summer pursuing him.

Nasri could make his debut in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Tottenham.

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