Guest Article – Nani’s staying put

by Sam Peoples

In what will be a running series, this is the first guest article that will appear on the website. I myself have only recently started my blog and now would like to help others gain the exposure they want for their writings. If you would like to get your piece published on the Peoples Person then send your work to [email protected] and I will take a look over it for you. This first piece is written by Adam Marsh, a young writer and Manchester United fan who has his own MUFC Blog and is also present on the twitter universe, so give him a follow here.

Photo: Getty Images

With the purchase of Ashley Young, some people may have thought that Manchester United winger Nani could have been on his way out of Old Trafford this summer. However, this all seems to be settling down as Luis Nani after he spoke out to quash any rumours he intends to leave and has said he is willing to fight for his place within the squad. The first thing that raised questions marks about the future of Nani was SAF’s decision to leave Nani out of the starting line-up of the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona. To some, this was a negative decision by SAF as he decided to play Park who is a less attacking player but it was obviously a tactical decision in order to try and hound Barcelona off the park in an attempt to stop them playing their controlling football. I personally feel that Nani would have been a better choice for SAF and United as it would have been a signal of attacking intent to a Barcelona squad feared for their ability going forward. In much the same fashion as the 2008 final, United came out of the blocks firing and looked all the part the better team but they just couldn’t get a foothold on the game. When Nani finally made an appearance as a substitution, he couldn’t force the goals that United craved so badly.

Recently, Nani said in an interview that ‘’I am fine at Manchester United but it is good to hear that other clubs are interested in me’’. This was a little worrying for United fans as they figured with Ashley Young being on the verge on signing for us, could this force the Portuguese international out of Old Trafford? Nani was linked with Real Madrid after he was quoted as saying that he wanted to be coached by Jose Mourinho at one point in his career. Something else that placed doubt over Nani’s future in all United fans heads was that with Valencia producing the best form of his career upon returning from serious injury, could Young be the man to replace Nani, and Valencia and Young being United’s new starting wingers? This would sadly mean no place in the team for Nani.

Nani got his hands on the Player's Player of the Year Award after his best season at United

When he arrived in 2007, Nani was labelled as a poor man’s Ronaldo. This was maybe true at the time as Nani had a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders, this being because he had to play up to the standards of the world best player Cristiano Ronaldo but he has since come into his own, . I feel that Nani was hard done by as even if Nani played well it still wasn’t good enough as Ronaldo was obviously that step above anybody else in the world at that moment in time. Since Ronaldo left United and Nani stopped playing in his shadow he has excelled a huge amount. Nani played a huge part in United’s success by helping them achieve their 19th title . He ended last season atop the assists  chart of the Premier League and picked up the Player’s Player of the Year Award at the annual Manchester United awards. This accolade was well deserved as his goals and assists were at a record high of 18 and these are statistics which show why players at the club turn to him in times of trouble. While Nani has now found form which you can call consistent it took him two years of playing a frustrating game for both himself and United as a whole. With Nani not long turned 23, it only seems fair to put his past frustrating appearances earlier in his career down to a by-product of youth. Although Nani was compared to Ronaldo I feel that they were very different players, this being because Nani is an out and out winger who looks to deliver the ball into dangerous areas – which he out-shines Ronaldo at. Whereas Ronaldo was more of an aggressive forward, looking to score goals rather than assist them. It now seems that Nani is living up to the early promise of his debut campaign that we heard so much about. SAF describes Nani as a product that is not yet finished but he is nearly there and I am sure that I am not the only United fan that cannot wait to see this finished product.

United will be looking to generate funds in this transfer window as well as they will pass the £50 million mark for signings after they sign goalkeeper David De Gea from Athletico Madrid some time later this month, having already signed Phil Jones and Ashley Young. Nani doesn’t look likely to be the player in which this money will come from, as his contract isn’t up until 2014 and SAF is expected to hold a meeting with the player to discuss his place within the team. With Nani knowing he has to fight for his place in the team just like everybody else does at United, whether it be out on the wings or in the centre of defence it keeps all the players at the top of their game which SAF will want if United are to aim towards their 20th League title, which can become a reality in the 2011/2012 campaign.

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