Nani Must Repay Manchester United's Faith After Signing New Deal
It was Sir Alex Ferguson who brought the Portuguese winger to Old Trafford in 2007 after paying Sporting Lisbon more than £17 million.
Direct, explosive and two-footed, it was hoped that Nani would follow the same path as another raw youngster signed from the Portuguese capital.
But by the time Cristiano Ronaldo had spent six seasons in Manchester, he had been crowed the world's best player and was on his way to Real Madrid for a record fee.
Nani has spent six years at United as well. But instead of hitting the same heights as his compatriot, he can't yet hold down a first-team place.
Is Nani part of Man United's best XI?
With a new contract, Moyes is giving him a chance to do just that.
There would have been little surprise if Nani had been ushered out of the exit this summer. There would have been few tears shed by the fans, either.
But Moyes has given him the benefit of the doubt, choosing to give the players he inherited a opportunity before overhauling his squad.
Moyes is fond of wingers—and fond of teams that play with width.
He's given chances to Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha this season. And he got his first look at Nani in a competitive game against Liverpool at Anfield.
After replacing Young in the second half, Nani's brightest moment was cutting in off the right to fire a stinging left-foot drive at Simon Mignolet. It was one of United's most threatening moments, but Nani's 27 minutes on the field were still littered with the same old mistakes, wastefulness and poor decisions.
With a new contract in his pocket, there is a chance for Nani, supposedly reaching his peak at 26 years old, to establish himself as a star.
Valencia and Young have struggled to find their form for more than a year. Zaha, only 20 years old, is still learning. Shinji Kagawa is still regaining his fitness after a busy summer.
That leaves Nani.
His talent is not in question—just his ability to turn it to tangible results on the field.
Moyes has handed Nani a new long-term deal and, with it, a show of support. It's Nani's job now to show his new manager that his faith isn't misplaced.
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