I push tedious links to their absolute breaking point, like a non-shatter ruler in a tiresome fifth period math lesson and today will be no different. As the St Louis Rams began training at Arsenal’s London Colney Training Ground ahead of their massive fixture with New England Patriots at Wembley this Sunday it reminded me that I had caught wind of a former Gunner who was also a Ram and the success he was starting to carve in his career.
The player in question is Nacer Barazite.
At Derby County he had a productive entire season on-loan at Pride Park in 2008-09 making over 30 appearances for The Rams whilst on-loan from Arsenal. Born in Arnhem and a product of the NEC Nijmegen youth system he was picked up by Arsenal in 2006 signing a professional contract with the club in 2007 after scoring against Barnet in the traditional pre-season match at Underhill, a feat he achieved on three separate occasions.
He featured for Rangers on trial and had a loan spell at Vitesse Arnhem before signing for Austria Wien in January 2011. As many players slip through the net at Arsenal’s youth system it seemed this could have been the first in a long line of backward steps in the Dutch youth internationals career.
Yet it was the direct opposite as his time in Austria served as the catalyst toward his future in the game. In a year at the club he amassed plenty of goals as an attacking minded midfielder including an incredible tally in the Europa League where he scored 11 times in 12 appearances for the Austrian side. It was obviously a time that meant a lot to him...
Important Austria wien!! (mutch love) Thank all my My colleagues. Staff members and the fans!!— Nacer Barazite (@NacerBarazite) January 25, 2012
This form alerted him to the apparent interest of Brendan Rodgers and Swansea but in the end he made a move that took some by surprise when he signed for Monaco of Ligue 2. A side no longer run by the powerhouses of Morientes, Rothen and Giuly they certainly are trying to regain that status and Barazite is one of the major implementations in their plan to return to France’s top-flight.
When usually doing a review of a players career the secondary source information you get makes you paint a rather sketchy picture of the player in question but with Nacer that is not the case.
By viewing his Twitter account you can see he is a family man, a happy father and son who has a lot of time for people who get in touch with him on Twitter. His faith is also clearly important to him, something he is not afraid to share, although that is easier to do in the French league where players with stronger religious attitudes are more tolerated and more prevalent.
What is clear is that the ‘rejection’ of Arsenal is not getting this strong minded and level headed individual down and his career at AS Monaco appears to be limited only by his own ambition which could be boundless.
All Derby County and Arsenal fans should keep an eye on his progress and wish him luck in the rest of his career.
What do you make of the career path of Nacer Barazite?