By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes that Robert Pires is the ideal standard-bearer for Samir Nasri.

The Arsenal manager has been impressed by Nasri this season and expects the 23-year-old to get better and better. But although the French international has similar attributes to Pires, his scoring ratio does not currently bear comparison with the Arsenal legend.

Nasri has scored five goals in 32 appearances this season, after recovering from the broken leg he sustained last summer, while Pires netted 84 times in 284 games for the Club - a rate of one every three or so matches. Wenger hopes that his current French playmaker can eventually emulate his previous one.

"Nasri is like Pires," said the manager, "I believe he is a hard worker, a good dribbler and a very interesting player because he has the combination of qualities that are quite exceptional. He has had a good season.

"Robert is a good target for him because if he can score the number of goals Pires scored then he will be an exceptional player.

"Nasri has played more in midfield because we lost Cesc Fabregas and he is the one who can play in this role. But I see Nasri in a wide role [in the future] because he has the tricks, the pace and don’t forget that Fabregas plays in the central role."

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1 May 2010