Date: 20th October 2008 at 4:20pm
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Arsene Wenger says he is surprised at how well Arsenal new boy Samir Nasri has seamlessly slipped into life in North London and that he believes his transition into English football is ahead of schedule.

Nasri has made instant impressions at Arsenal and has become a firm favorite amongst the fans at Ashburton Grove.

Wenger told the club’s official website: ‘I didn’t count Nasri in here for the first six months of the season, like I do for everybody we buy at such a young age.

‘When you look at the impact he had already here you can say he’s ahead of what I planned for him.

‘He’s 21, goes from France to England, and I must say I’m quite pleased with his attitude and his performances.

‘He’s doing extremely well and he is already becoming an important player for us and that is why you do not want him to get injured.’

His stylish play and eye for goal (he’s already equalled Hleb’s total for last season) leaves him looking like the closest thing to Robert Pires we’ve had on the wing since, well, Robert Pires.