Why Manchester United should keep Nani

Sports Mole explains why Manchester United should keep Portuguese winger Nani at the club this summer.

If recent reports are to be believed, then French outfit Monaco have tabled an offer in the region of £10m for Manchester United winger Nani, who has been widely linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer.

The 26-year-old made a scoring return for a United XI on Monday and registered a brace in their 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, while his teammates were on their way back from a pre-season tour of Asia.

Nani had not travelled with the rest of the squad due to a nasal problem, but it is believed that the Portuguese will meet new boss David Moyes this week to discuss his future at Old Trafford.

United winger Nani celebrates opening the scoring against Reading on February 18, 2013© PA Photos

When United acquired his services in 2007, Nani was widely compared to Cristiano Ronaldo with his blistering pace and ability to play off both feet, but it has not quite happened for the midfielder, for reasons that are largely unknown.

In terms of modern-day wingers, Nani has everything that you would possibly want to succeed. He is physically strong, quick, agile, two-footed, can beat a man – and that is naming just a few of his attributes.

It would be easy for Moyes to wave goodbye to the winger this summer and many United supporters would be glad to see him go, but a fit and confident Nani would be an asset for any team in world football.

After settling into the early stages of his career at United, Nani impressed in the 2010-11 campaign with 10 goals and a number of assists, before registering another 10 goals in the following season.

Luis Nani celebrates scoring United's third© PA Photos

It appeared that the Portuguese would continue that level of form at the start of last season, but a number of poor performances and injuries saw him score just four times in 17 appearances for the Premier League champions.

Nani was handed a starting role in the Champions League quarter-final clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford last season, but he saw red for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa, before seeing his side crash out of the competition in the latter stages of the match.

Underneath the undoubted frustration, there is an incredibly talented footballer. He is the type of player and indeed man who needs to feel loved. He needs to feel wanted, to feel as if he is making a contribution to the team.

He must be doing something right seeing as how he has won four league titles and a Champions League medal during his time at Old Trafford, but there is a danger that he could be remembered as a frustrating player, rather than one who enjoyed a successful career with the club.

Manchester United's Nani is shown a red card during the second half against Real Madrid on March 5, 2013© PA Photos

In truth, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young hardly impressed for United last season and while Wilfried Zaha has shone on their pre-season tour, he remains untested in the Premier League and the Champions League.

At just 26 years of age, Nani certainly has time to silence the doubters. United teammate Rio Ferdinand previously stated: "Nani's got the potential to do what he wants. He's one of the sharpest players around, has a great strike with both feet – he's got the potential to be a top, top player."

What Nani needs more than anything is for Moyes to put an arm around his shoulder and tell him that he will be a key player for his side next season, because that is when the winger produces the type of performances that have made him such an exciting player in seasons gone by.

That's not to say that Nani won't frustrate at times next season – he undoubtedly will – but it will certainly be worth it for the moments of magic that, without question, he can produce.

Nani© PA Photos

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Everton boss David Moyes prior to kick-off against Oldham in the FA Cup 5th round on February 16, 2013
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1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
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