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West Ham United

Hammers debut on the cards for Nasri

1st January 2019, 12:13 by Craig Smithson

West Ham could hand Samir Nasri his debut in Wednesday's visit of Brighton after he penned a contract until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old former France midfielder signed the deal on the day an 18-month ban for a doping infraction expired.

He could now face the Seagulls on Wednesday night with manager Manuel Pellegrini battling a lengthy injury list and some tired legs.

Premier League rules state that no new players registered at the start of this transfer window would be eligible to play in the upcoming round of fixtures.

However that does not apply to Nasri given he was a free agent and signed before the window opened, with West Ham having space for him in their Premier League squad.

Nasri, who had been training with the Hammers, has been without a club since leaving Antalyaspor of Turkey last January. He previously played in the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester City, winning two titles with the latter, the second of which came under Pellegrini in 2014.

"I'm really happy that West Ham and Manuel Pellegrini have given me a chance to be playing again," Nasri told West Ham TV. "I know the manager really well. We won the Premier League title together and I'm really passionate about my job.

"Pellegrini was the biggest factor for me to be joining West Ham. When you're a player, you want the manager to know your quality and want you because he's the one that is going to be playing the team, and knows your quality. It was really important and I'm just looking forward to it.

"I love his philosophy and the way he thinks about football. The guy is a genius. He thinks a lot about everything and he has that mentality about football, and we share the same mentality."

Meanwhile, Pablo Zabaleta could return from illness for the match at the London Stadium, but Javier Hernandez is at least another week away from fitness.

Winston Reid (knee), Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks (both ankle) are out injured.

Fabio Balbuena, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez (all knee) and Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles) also miss out for the hosts.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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