Samir Nasri’s lack of loyalty to Arsenal was what made Wenger think of leaving

Midfielder’s decision to join Manchester City in August was ‘painful’ for Gunners boss

Arsene Wenger has revealed that it was the departure of Samir Nasri that made him doubt his own future at Arsenal at the start of this season.

The Gunners boss admitted at the weekend that he would consider his position at the Emirates if he felt his side were no longer competing at the level he desired.

But while that led to a flurry of Wenger exit stories that the Frenchman dismissed out of hand at Carrow Road on Saturday, it was the controversial exit of Nasri to Manchester City for �24m in August that had most affected the Gunners boss.

The 24-year-old will return to the Emirates for the first time next week to face the Gunners in a Carling Cup quarter-final, and Wenger made no secret of how he was hurt by the player's defection.

"For the first time I lost young players who were reaching maturity," said Wenger with clear reference to Nasri and former captain Cesc Fabregas. "I suffered. It's painful to lose key men you have invested a lot in.

"What's hard is the feeling something is finishing. For me, we're now talking short term, it's obvious.

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"But whether it's with me or someone else, it changes nothing. My successor needs foundations on which he can be successful."

Wenger is under contract at Arsenal until the summer of 2014 and reiterated that he will honour it as long as those at the club want to keep him.

"For me, it is a non-story," said Wenger. "The club can decide to get rid of me tomorrow morning, but I cannot interfere with that decision. But I am totally committed here and I will show you that at the end of the season."

"I have two more years to go, will stay and that is it."

"There is a fantastic spirit in the side, and it is a great pleasure to work with the players. We have to show we can go very far.

"However, we have some way to go to show this is the right way. We will see at the end of the season.

"I am very positive, but over the coming months we have to show how successful we want to be.

"Five weeks ago, we were 17th in the league and I had to answer a question 'do you think you play for relegation?' In football, things change quickly, so you are always on the short term.

"What is important for us is we are back in a stronger position, so let's continue to develop because we need to become stronger to come back to the top."

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