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Why United Now Have The Perfect Nani

Nani or to give him his full name Luis Carlos Almedia da Cunha has probably over the past year been one of the best players in the Premiership. In my opinion he’s been the best player in the league second to only Gareth Bale.

After becoming somewhat of an outcast for Manchester United after what had been a promising first season at the club, it’s only really in the last year that Nani has become a regular for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

Of course last season, there were rumours that Ferguson had had enough of the Portuguese winger who begun his third season at United being consistently below par seemingly barley incapable of putting even a simple cross into the box. 

Just when it looked as if the club were going to cash in on him during the transfer window, Nani surprisingly came to the fore and begun to put in match winning performances every week.

There was no performance greater for Nani last year than his performance at the Emirates when due to his dazzling display United strolled to a 3-1 win over Arsenal.  After putting United ahead thanks to a moment of brilliance, that outwitted Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal’s keeper Manuel Almunia, Nani helped set up Wayne Rooney for United’s second to seal the game before half time.

It was the kind of performance that every United fan had been hoping Nani would produce and since that day the winger has grown fully in confidence to become a real key member of the side.  So, A Portuguese winger that scores and creates goals, creating nightmares for Premiership defenders on a regular basis. Haven’t we heard this before?

Getting serious though, Nani as a physical specimen cannot be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo who is taller and stronger than United’s current wing hero.  After all despite being wingers, they differ in style and that perhaps is where Nani up until last season, went wrong at United.

By trying to be like his world-class compatriot Nani perhaps tried to be something he’s not and by trying too hard in games to be like Ronaldo, he let the ‘basics’ go out of his game. The ‘basics’ for any winger are of course to put balls into the box, where forwards and attacking-midfielders can take advantage of and to be a creative influence in the team.

Before this time last year, Nani more often than not seemed incapable of putting in a ball into a box and more often than not after beating 1-2 players would try to beat a third and would often lose possession of the ball. Nowadays of course Nani is able to put a ball into the box and works the percentages more as a winger.

Not only that but he’s getting forward more and he is in more goal scoring opportunities for United than ever. His dribbling skills have also improved probably as a result of his overall confidence and fans now take note when he has the ball as they expect him now to produce.

With United’s defence this season looking abit rusty, it’s even more important for them that their attacking players perform to their best and take their chances. With Javier Hernandez on fire along with Dimitar Berbatov this season and with Wayne Rooney improving as well, Nani has more responsibility than ever to do the business for United.

Responsibility is something that he’s dealt with the pass as he’s regularly produced it for Portugal and of course scored a penalty that he had to score in the Champions League Final, which of course United won. That’s something worth remembering because if Nani had not scored his penalty, then John Terry famously wouldn’t have needed to take his, which he famously missed of course.

At 24 he is improving game by game and is on his way to becoming one of the top 10-15 players in the World, which was a view that my brother ironically had at the start of this season.  If he keeps on improving for United, he may go on to do much more than that. 

Adam Dennehey –

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