Who needs Ronaldo when Nani plays like that?
Has Alex Ferguson got lucky or did he see something in Nani that nobody else could?
The Scot has always stood by the Manchester United winger despite his extremely unfavorable comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo and on Sunday against Arsenal all the pieces appeared to fall into place for a player who has flattered to deceive.
Nani’s bamboozling dribble was too much for Arsenal defence as United went in front at The Emirates. The Portuguese then displayed perfect timing and weight of pass to slide the ball though for the marauding Wayne Rooney that effectively settled the game as they went on to win 3-1.
Rooney has been incredible this season, carrying United when they have not played well. But Nani’s contribution as the spark around the solid midfield platform of Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes could be just the injection of firepower that will carry United to a 19th league title.
Nani will never score the goals that Ronaldo managed at Old Trafford but his performances in recent weeks suggest that he finally believes that he belongs in a United shirt. The way he tied Gael Clichy, one of the best fullbacks in Europe, in knots on Sunday bodes well for United.
Nani was eventually replaced by Dimitar Berbatov with a minute to go at Arsenal and received the acclaim of the visiting fans who may just have witnessed the coming of age of another Old Trafford hero.
PHOTO: Manchester United’s Nani celebrates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London January 31, 2010. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh