Date: 16th September 2007 at 7:27pm
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Along with Anderson, he was bought for the future. A gap in the market formed, and SAF pounced, sealing the fates of two of the hottest talents in Europe. So, they would be forgiven for taking time to settle in. Well, one of them has?the other; he`s taken the Premiership by storm!

As I said before, Anderson still has to settle in, injury`s have blighted his early United career, but he is young, and I`m sure he will feature more prominently later on in the campaign. In this article I want to focus on young Portuguese winger, Nani, the player dubbed the “next Ronaldo”, who has already made a huge impact on the team.

Nani has played in almost all of our league games thus far, whether it be from the start or coming off from the bench. In recent weeks, his contribution has gained us 9 crucial points, which come the end of the season, could prove invaluable. Now, I am in no-ways saying Nani is the finished article, far from it, and as Zae has already pointed out in previous articles, he does have a tendency to drift in and out of matches, much like Ronaldo in his early years. However, though his performances haven`t really been outstanding thus far, you cant ignore the contribution he has made in our last three matches.

Spurs at home, lacklustre performance from the whole team, 75 minutes in and looking like ending in either a draw or a defeat. Up pops Nani, who had been quiet all match, but with one fine strike of the ball, United were ahead and able to hold out for three crucial home points.

Sunderland at home, same story, poor performance from the lads, with our strikers unable to hit a barn door. Deep into the second half, United get the corner, Nani whips in a superb ball for Saha to beat the standing Gordon. Another crucial 3 points, with Nani again making the telling contribution.

And yesterday, Everton away, a better performance but far from our best. Bu the same problem again, not one shot on target and a bore draw looking on the cards. But with 10 minutes to go, United won a corner and another inch perfect ball in met with vigour by Vidic and the three points were ours.

Now I am in no way saying that Nani is the only reason we have those 9 points, poor defending by Sunderland, and a determined Nemanja Vidic were vital in both of the goals, but I think we cant fail to see the contribution Nani is having on the team without playing well, which I feel will be one of his biggest assets in his United career.

And I don`t think I am the only one who feels this way, walking around town I see the usual plethora of United shirts, but unlike the usual Rooney`s and Ronaldo`s I am seeing an increasing number of people with a certain number 17 on their backs, proving that Nani is fast becoming a fans favourite at the club.

So he`s young, skilful, incredibly gifted, popular with the fans, important to the team and Portuguese. Sound familiar? I truly believe that if Nani receives the right nurturing at Old Trafford, which he no doubt will under the guidance of SAF and Quieroz, I believe he can become just as good as Cristiano Ronaldo. Or even better?