Hold Your Horses: It's Nani Time

will evansCorrespondent IJune 27, 2009

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 20:  Nani of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Darron Gibson (L) during the Carling Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg match between Manchester United and Derby County at Old Trafford on January 20, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ronaldo's gone. Get over it.

This is exactly what all United fans and Manchester United have to do. A fantastic player in almost every aspect, Ronaldo was undoubtedly one of the best players to grace the Red Devils in a long time, but he's gone.

It's like The Soprano's: it's over. Find a new show.

A host of world class names have been cast around as potential replacements. The problem is, how exactly do you replace a player who scored more then 60 goals over the last two seasons?

Answer: team work.

Place more emphasis on the forwards and allow them to do their job, instead of baby sitting and cleaning up for the Portuguese Maestro.

As good as Rooney and Berbatov undoubtedly are, I doubt they will be able to replace Ronaldo's prolific goal scoring rate. The answer then is to find a replacement for Ronaldo who not only allows the forwards to be the goal scorers, but also chips in with a decent haul of goals himself. How can the Red Devils do this? I'll tell you how, and Sir Alex Ferguson can do it without spending any money.

How? Nani.

Nani had a sensational first season at United, which he followed up with one of the most disappointing follow up seasons seen in a while. Was he a one hit wonder? I Don't think so.

I would say, Nani was trying far too hard to be Ronaldo when Ronaldo is a completely different player to Nani. Both are fantastic dribblers with unparalleled trickery, both can produce fantastic shots on goal, and both are wingers.

However, the similarities end there. Nani, even after a very poor season, is much better then Ronaldo was at a similar point early in his career (seasons at United wise, not age wise).

Nani prefers to dribble and play the ball towards the middle either by crossing or passing of some other method. Ronaldo cuts in and shoots. While one hurts the development or ability of the forwards, the other helps them.

Next season, during which I feel the team will be based around Rooney and Berbatov, Nani is the one to help them reach their full potential.

While I acknowledge that Nani had a poor season, he wasn't given a fair shot or a good run of games to gain confidence. Give him this, and watch as the two big faults of his character (selfishness and bad decision making) disappear. In Nani hands, United will once again be a team, and a dangerous one at that.

Watch out, its Nani's time.