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Nani off in the summer? Please

Reports today have emerged on CaughtOffside, that Nani is indeed off to Juventus in a deal that is reportedly ‘all but complete’. And I personally don’t see this as a bad thing. Since his arrival in 2007, Nani has very rarely shown us his ‘true potential’ that was reported to be that of ‘the next Ronaldo’. In fact I have said for many years that he is not quite up to the task of playing for United.

It would be unfair to say that he hasn’t shown some promise. He tore Arsenal apart in the Champions League in 2009/10 at The Emirates, the goal against Tottenham he was berated by the press et al for at Old Trafford showed he has brains under there somewhere. And just every now and again he will pull out a piece of magic that reminds you that beneath the bravado and hype, Nani being Nani can be a joy to behold.

Unfortunately for him, the bad far outweighs the good in my opinion. Too many times he hasn’t done the business when we have needed him to. For a winger, his crossing is appalling (whoever decided he should take corners needs to be strung up), he fancies himself as a free-kick taker when he blatantly can’t do what Ronnie did with a ball, he tries stupid tricks in stupid places that cost us, he is too lightweight, and too prone to taking shots from ridiculous ranges when a pass is a better option.

Campo

To say all this is completely his fault would be a lie. The hype he was bought in with is bound to go to his head, especially when the player he is tipped to emulate was still at the club when he started out, it’s only natural to try and show him up or show that he can indeed match him for ability and effectiveness. You could say he was always set up to fail at United because of this, but then you an also look at it in the way he wasn’t mentally strong enough to say ‘I’m not the next Ronaldo, I am Nani, a player in my own right, lets show what I can do’. Coaches should maybe also have taken him aside and said the same to him, because it cannot be denied that when he is in full flow, he can be wonderful to watch.

However, the sad truth is that his departure will not be looked back on as our loss and Juventus’ gain (a la Pogba), because he hasn’t quite cut the mustard in the Premier League, he hasn’t found the consistency needed to become the ‘next Ronaldo’. For all intents and purpose he could go to Juve and score 35 goals in his first season, that can’t be looked upon as something we missed out on, because in seven years he hasn’t once taken the opportunity to do that. No, Nani leaving will be a big positive, whether it be to Juventus (as it is only rumours, and they are only the most consistently linked not necessarily the destination) or anyone else, we can charge a pretty penny because of the bravado surrounding him, and the pretty penny can be used towards the likes of Kroos or Shaw or a player from a similar position which is far more beneficial than having him in the squad. It is fair to say that I am struggling to find negatives in him leaving for pastures new, I would happily drive him to the airport if needs be, just to get the deal sealed. A shame it may be that he never quite did it, the fact he didn’t makes it all the easier to wave goodbye. See you in the Champions League Luis.

By Matthew Henderson

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