By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes that Samir Nasri has all the ingredients to become a major star at Arsenal.

The French midfielder moved here from Marseilles last summer and his creditable tally of six goals in 23 starts includes vital strikes against Manchester United, West Brom and Hull City.

Since his arrival Nasri has been likened to former Arsenal favourite Robert Pires and, although the comparisons are rather obvious, they are compelling. Both are French, both left Marseilles for Arsenal and both are creative midfielders with an eye for goal.

Nasri has a long way to go before he emulates Pires' medals tally but, despite joining Arsenal at a much younger age than Pires, he has adapted quicker. Wenger expects Nasri to emerge as Arsenal's creative hub in the years to come.

"What people forget is that Pires arrived at 27 and Nasri arrived at 21," said the Arsenal manager.

"Nasri has a great future because he is that kind of player, he can score goals, he can dribble, there is more power to come from him and I think he's adapted quite well.

"Yes [he reminds me of Pires] but he can also be a central player.

"People forget that compared to last year we have lost three players. We have lost Fabregas, we have lost Hleb and we have lost Rosicky - three creative players - and last year we lost Van Persie and Rosicky at the same time together and they are creative players.

"You need always to have a creative unit if we want to play the kind of football that we want to play. We want to play the ball on the ground, move it quickly and then you need the players who can do that because now we play against teams who have 10 players at the back."

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30 Jan 2009