Date: 3rd January 2013 at 2:20am
Written by:
Nani flip

Remember this guy?

The departure from Old Trafford of a certain Luis Carlos Almeida Da Cunha seemed as assured as Queen’s Park Rangers losing at Stamford Bridge up until recently. Sir Alex Ferguson has squashed rumours that Nani is on his way out of United- at least of the foreseeable future and it’s now just a question of whether the winger can have any form of impact this season.

So far in this campaign Nani has been poor to say the least, I’m a big fan of his but even I’ve struggled to defend him at times as his performances have gone from the erratic, to the downright disinterested.

One goal and an assist in seven league games is hardly cause for a out of the club, but it’s the standard of Nani’s displays which have caused most fans to turn against him. You can almost feel the anger towards Nani at games now, before he’s even touched the ball, its almost as if the crowd are pre-empting his mistakes. Most on the social networking sites seem resigned to the fact that Nani’s not cut out for United and we need to get rid, but I’ve not quite given up on the former Sporting Lisbon man for several reasons.

Antonio Valencia

“Tony V’s” form is so poor of late that I genuinely am concerned as to whether we’ll ever see the player that almost delivered a 20th title to Old Trafford at the back end of last season. Valencia seems unwilling to attack his full back, incapable of delivering a decent cross and bereft of anything resembling confidence, it’s bizarre just how badly he’s been playing- on the whole. There may have been signs of the old Tony V now and again, but these are few and far between. Nani is capable of playing on the right wing- and certainly seems to prefer it and there’s no denying competition or even a replacement for Valencia so he can be rested wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

The Young and Evra ‘factor’

A few weeks ago Ashley Young was declared not good enough for United by practically anyone with access to the internet and while he’s not totally proved his worth, the last few performances have at the very least showed he can be a useful asset to side. Many fans were crying for Young to be dropped at one point or another while a small minority – at least on social networks- were defending him, now the roles seem reversed as it’s the majority who are realising the winger has something to offer. Michael Carrick was labelled ‘not good enough’ or ‘too negative’ by many critics and this season has been the best English centre midfielder on the planet by a country mile.

Patrice Evra was another player eclared ‘useless’ by so many I’ve been amazed by it and somewhat sick of defending one of my favourite players. Many were claiming he was past it and Leighton was actually on his way – or even worse Alexander should be first choice – erm “megalolz” however I’d argue that this season Evra has been one of the best left backs in the prem and more than silenced his critics. Almost. Is there any reason to truly believe Nani couldn’t turn opinion back in his favour if three who received a lot more stick than he has, have managed to do so?

Real Madrid

Name me three on the United side who could feasibly ‘tear Madrid a new one’ Robin Van Persie? Chicharito? Wayne Rooney….maybe? United don’t have a lot of out and out match winners capable of creating something out of nothing and truly terrorising a side, but Nani is one of them and come the Madrid games could well prove to be priceless.

Not Ronaldo

Nani isn’t as good as one of the greatest of all time but that doesn’t make him rubbish. Tom Cleverley is nothing like Paul Scholes yet people still expect him to be and it baffles me. Why fans assume Nani should do the job that a once in a generation player like Ron did, is beyond me, but just because he isn’t as good as CR7 doesn’t mean he can’t be a player who can win us games.

Nani may be frustrating and he may be heading for the exit door- eventually- but let’s not kid ourselves that we don’t need him. If Sir Alex is telling the truth and there are no more coming to Old Trafford this window, then we need to utilise the ones we’ve got and Nani is one of them.

Follow me on twitter for more red views @RFFH

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