Navid Nasseri programme article

Posted : 1st November 2020

‘Look at Linfield' this week caught up with summer signing Navid Nasseri, who joined Linfield upon the opening of the transfer window on August 1, hours after winning the Irish Cup with Big Two rivals Glentoran.

The 24 year-old maestro is from an Iranian family but was brought up in Manchester. He represented Manchester United, Crewe Alexandra, Blackburn Rovers, Bury and Birmingham City in a promising youth career.

Navid's first taste professional contract came at Macclesfield Town in the 2016-17, before moving on to Syrianska in Sweden for ten months.

Nasseri moved on to Gillingham in January 2018 but despite scoring on his first start against MK Dons, he left in January 2019 after limited opportunities. He was without a club until October of 2019, when he was snapped up by Glentoran who he caught the eye for last season and then Linfield snapped him up upon the expiry of his contract. Navid tells the programme that trophies were the driving factor in his decision to move.

“I want to push on in my career and win trophies and I thought Linfield was the best place to do it. I’m very happy to be here now and want to help push the team on to hopefully win some silverware this season.

“I am a winner. I don’t want to speak about past successes but the mentality is instilled in me and I just want to win trophies. It’s important to blank out any noise that comes with it and focus on the football.”

Having played in the ‘Big Two' derby last season for the Glens, Navid is already all too aware of Linfield’s stature and fan base and he says the supporters have made him feel very welcome.

“The Linfield supporters have welcomed me with open arms. I am grateful for that and I want to repay them with my performances on the pitch.

“It’s a strange time for everyone at the moment for obvious reasons. For us that means playing in front of a small number of supporters, which is better than no fans, but having played against Linfield last season I know how big the fan base is and I hope to be able to play in front of such crowds again when it is permitted, whenever that may be. The atmosphere can drive us on to have a good season.”

Nasseri, who can play on the left, right, or behind the striker, agrees with our suggestion that he’s been improving by the week since making his debut in our 2-0 win over Tre Fiori in August in a Champions League Preliminary Qualifier.

“I’ve settled in well with the squad which is full of great lads with a range of experienced players and young players. We all gel well and bounce off each other with positive attributes. They have all helped me settle and feel welcome.

“Making a transition from one club to another can sometimes happen quickly and sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Factors in that can be getting used to how the team plays, the movement, how the players react and things like that. Week on week, I think performances will improve and you’ll see that more and more.”

Navid’s first goal for the Club came a few weeks ago as he finished a well-worked counter away to Carrick Rangers in the Co. Antrim Shield. Since then he assisted a goal against Carrick Rangers in the League and scored a cracking goal in our 3-2 win away to Ballymena United last week when he also picked up an assist. It’s fair to say he’s started the season very well and he believes Linfield’s system of play will suit his style.

“Drifting out to the left wing, picking pockets in the middle behind the striker, and running beyond the striker sometimes; these are all things the system and the gaffer allows me to do, and the same applies to the other attacking players in the team. It’s a positive thing for me and we want to make a success of it.

“Any time I get into the final third I just want to make things happen, whether that’s assists or goals. Last week I just wanted to drive at the defender and get a shot off and it worked out just as I’d hoped. It was pleasing to get the goal. The conditions were poor on the night in Ballymena. There was torrential rain during the warm-up and then hailstones during the game. Ballymena strengthened well and it was a good away win for us.”

Finally, Navid looked forward to tonight’s game and he is aware of what kind of challenge Crusaders will bring, but he believes it’s important that the Blues play to their own strengths at home.

“Being on the big pitch like here at Windsor suits us and we need to implement our own game on Crusaders, as opposed to worrying about them too much. If we do that and dictate the tempo of the game there’s no doubt it can be a success for us.

“Crusaders have improved and not only them. There are a lot of clubs growing in stature and bringing new players in which is only a good thing as competition is healthy in sport. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead against good strong teams and hopefully, we’ll be the best of the lot.”

All the very best to Navid for what will hopefully be a successful Linfield career and there’s no doubt that the Blue men and women will love him, if he continues the performances he’s shown in recent weeks.
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