Arsenal should have signed Nani

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Football News

Manchester United winger Luis Nani has recently signed a new five-year contract at Old Trafford, after a summer in which the Portuguese star was linked with a move away from the club.

Turkish giants Galatasaray were one of the clubs linked with the 26-year-old – as were Arsenal.

And, a move to the Gunners might just have been the best thing for all parties concerned.

Nani has always shown glimpses of his huge potential with the Red Devils, having joined the club from Sporting Lisbon back in 2007. However, he’s failed to live up to the billing as the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, who enjoyed six great years with the Premier League champions before moving to Real Madrid in Spain.

Part of Nani’s problem has been his inability to force a run in the Manchester United side. Injuries have played their part, with problems in the 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons all affecting his number of appearances.

The common misconception is that Sir Alex Ferguson was never sure of the player, but the reality is that he was regularly chosen by the Scot when fit.

Nani is prone to the odd mistake, but is more than capable of creating a goal. That fact is proven by Nani’s 43 assists since 2007 – the fifth most in the English top flight during that timeframe. Only Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney are ahead of him in that particular list.

David Moyes has persuaded the player to stay, and presumably the former Everton boss also hopes to utilise Nani out wide. However. he's only featured once off the bench this season, and with Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha all vying for a place in the starting line-up, he might find it hard to break back into the team once again.

It's debatable whether he would start at Arsenal either, with Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all capable of playing in the wide areas.

The later two prefer to play more centrally however, and Nani would definitely offer much more genuine width in comparison to that particular duo. And, with a run of first team games, you get the feeling that the 62-cap international could flourish.

Arsene Wenger did splurge some cash on transfer deadline day, with Mesut Ozil the marquee addition at the Emirates Stadium. The German international supplements a solid squad at the Emirates Stadium, despite the manager failing to land a first-choice goalkeeper, defender and striker - three areas the Frenchman does still need to strengthen despite Emiliano Viviano on loan.

Adding another player out wide is perhaps not a priority, but neither was another attacking midfielder in north London, and when a player of a certain calibre becomes available, it's difficult to turn down the opportunity to try and sign the player.

Nani is not the same class as Ozil, but his price-tag was nowhere near the former Werder Bremen star's either. Speculation suggested £8million could be enough for the Gunners to land the player early in the summer. Given that they are title rivals, that figure might be a little low, but it's still a price Arsenal could have paid if they'd really wanted too.

Wenger is undeniably a great coach, and perhaps could have tried to get the inconsistencies out of Nani's game. For whatever reason, he decided against it.

And, having signed the new long-term deal, a move to the Emirates definitely won't be happening anytime soon. Arsenal fans probably aren't that bothered, if truth be know, but it might just have been a great bit of business for both player and club if a move to the capital had come to fruition.

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Manchester United
Luis Nani
Premier League

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