Luis Nani: Will He, Wont He?

Saif Syed OmarCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

This article is a belated Valentine day special discussing the love life of our own "reincarnation" of Michael Jackson in his teens—before he had a face job done.

Yeah, you guessed it right, we are talking about Luis Nani. But there are other things in life than being voyeuristic and peeping into someone's love life, at least not Nani's.

Well lets try to talk about something he is apparently good at, Football. This 22 year old is a product of the Sporting Lisbon youth system that has seen the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Miguel Veloso among others who had been in the news during the recent transfer rumours.

Nani plied his trade at Sporting as a winger, like his compatriot Christiano Ronaldo and made close to 60 appearances for them before he was sold to Manchester United in 2007. He has since been in and out of the playing 11 though he has cemented his place in the squad.

Despite showing promise, his role has been limited to the bench and the starting XI of Cup competitions. Lets see why this so called budding talent has failed to impress the Gaffer and the fans alike and has become the subject of the "Will he Wont he" sarcasm.

1. Will he...Ever be Christiano Ronaldo?

Being a teen prodigy at Sporting, like his more successful compatriot Christiano Ronaldo, he arrived at Old Trafford not only with a big price tag but also with sky high expectations from fans. However, he was seen as a buy for the future rather than the 2007-08 season. 

But with injuries to key players, both Nani and Anderson—who arrived the same season, were put to test early in their OT careers and to be fair, both of them did impress everyone.

But that turned out to be more of a first season syndrome. Nani found the net four times last season and six times so far this season. Ronaldo's goal tally was similarly a single digit figure for the first two seasons.

But scoring goals is secondary, he has been brought to OT so that he can set up for others before scoring himself. His performances have been as inconsistent as Rafa's team selection last season.

While Christiano Ronaldo went on to improve the potential he showed in the first season, Nani's performances have hit a roadblock and have somewhat degenerated over time with only flashes of the promise shown early on.

Although it can be argued that he's still young and not a regular, he has had his chance to shine which he has blown away on most occasions.

2. Will he...Ever be consistent?

The only feature that has been consistent in Nani's play is inconsistency. He is found lacking the quality on most occasions even though he seems to be blessed with a repertoire of skills.

His overall performances have been better in cup competitions than in the league as he seems to dwell on the lesser oppositions. Though he scored against Derby in the fifth round of the FA cup, his performance was far from satisfactory.

His most memorable performance would undoubtedly be against Arsenal, again, in the FA cup last season where he scored one and set up a couple as Manchester

United ran out 4-0 winners. But besides such flashes of brilliance, it has been a mediocre outing on most other occasions.

3. Will he...Ever become a first team regular?

With performances we've seen so far, he's way off the mark. He's stuck between showboating and playing without direction in most games. He's often been criticized of giving the ball away too easily.

Though he has shown at times that he can deliver decent crosses and make intelligent runs, he has been inconsistent for the most part.

With veterans like Giggs likely to cut down playing, Nani was expected to push to make his position in the side permanent, on the contrary, Giggs seems to be improving with age and has restricted Nani to just eight appearances in the league. Even when he has had his chances he has shone intermittently at most.

Sadly, the answer to most of the above "Will He's" is—"He Won't."

Not until he shows the perseverance Ronaldo has shown to become the player he is today. Not unless he shows the professionalism and attitude shown by the legends like Giggs. Not unless he gives up showboating and plays for the team.  

Hopefully he will mature with age and experience. The arrival of Tosic should act as a catalyst and spur him on from here lest we see another Kleberson in the making. We all love your somersault, but we love the "TEAM winning" better.