David Moyes Was Right to Keep Nani at Manchester United
The delicate touch inside Martin Skrtel and fierce right-foot shot past Pepe Reina. Dancing around Branislav Ivanovic, cutting in off the left and shooting inside the far post. The clever flick to score against Bayern Munich. The 30-yard drive that flew by Heurelho Gomes.
They are all reasons why Nani deserved his new five-year deal at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese winger is going to keep frustrating United fans for the next five years. He'll keep giving the ball away, keep switching off for just long enough for the full-back to race past him.
At 26, he doesn't know anything else.
He'll keep making the Stretford End moan and groan until the last day of his deal.
But he can also get the fans off their seats.
He can make a chance out of nothing. He can score a specular goal in the last minute of a dire 0-0 draw. He's explosive and unpredictable. And he's a defender's nightmare.
Those are qualities worth investing in.
And for David Moyes, that's especially true now.
Antonio Valencia is a shadow of the player who cleaned up at the player of the year awards two seasons ago. Ashley Young looks devoid of any confidence. Wilfried Zaha has all the tools to be a star but, at 20 years old, he's still learning.
In a brief appearance against Liverpool at Anfield, Nani showed just what he's capable of. United had barely created a chance before he was introduced in place of Young in the 63rd minute.
In a flash, he had jinked off the right touchline and fizzed a shot at Simon Mignolet from 25 yards. It was struck so well that Mignolet could only beat it away with his fists.
A foot either side and the Liverpool goalkeeper would have been beaten, and United would have escaped with a point.
'What ifs' don't mean anything to football fans. But it's the reason Nani is worth a new contract.
What if he can beat that defender. What if he can find a yard of space. What if he can pull something unexpected out of the bag to win a game. He's done before and he'll do it again.
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