Luis Nani was once a major player for Manchester United. Last season, he was not. Partly, it was down to his inconsistent performances. But mostly, it was because Sir Alex Ferguson chose not to trust him - even when other wingers were playing worse.
As much as Manchester United fans respect Ferguson’s decision, seeing it from a neutral point of view, one can say that Nani deserved more games than he was offered, especially when Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia were getting games despite their poor returns.
It is not a huge surprise that rumours about Nani have been floating around for months now.
The rumours may not be as substantial as those concerning the likes of Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Gareth Bale, but they are certainly there, refusing to go away.
But for David Moyes, in the first year of taking charge at United, it would be foolhardy to sell Nani. Sure, if they don’t offer Nani an extension to his current contract, they could lose him for nothing. But, at this time, it would be wiser to offer him an extension, probably two to three years, and see how he can perform.
Nani’s potential has never been in question. He may not be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo is - but the fact is: no winger in the world is. Nani, from what we have seen, could come close though.
Nani can perform well as a traditional winger or the wide man in a three-man attacking midfield. He can cut into the middle to create chances and score occasional goals.
He has quite a set of twists and turns in his bag, and watching him assault the opposition in every way possible will certainly give fans a pleasure. What we are talking about is Nani at his best. But right now, we are dealing with Nani at his lowest point of career.
Nani is clearly the type of player whose performances are affected by his self-confidence, and the confidence that his manager and team-mates have on him.
He craves love and recognition. So, if Moyes wants the Nani of past, he will have to work on these aspects of the player.
By all means, Manchester United need to hold on to Nani because of the player he can be. Moyes just needs to be patient with Nani and give him the chance he deserves.
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