Even if he is leaving, Manchester United should use Nani more this season

The Portuguese winger showed his class with a goal and an assist as Manchester United beat Reading in the FA Cup on Monday night, and should have a big role to play in the next few months.

There are not many footballers who have an ability to frustrate as much as Manchester United's Nani, with the winger's obvious talent making it all the more annoying for fans when he disappears in matches.

Nani is of course unfortunate in that he is perennially and unfavourably compared to Cristiano Ronaldo both at Old Trafford and for Portugal, but he does not make it easier on himself with his performances on occasion.

This year has been perhaps his worst at United, with long injury lay-offs and generally indifferent displays when he has made it onto the pitch.

Add in the huge competition for places in United's front line, and Wilfried Zaha's summer arrival at Old Trafford, and it seems likely that Nani's days are numbered at the club.

However his talent dictates that it would be unwise for Alex Ferguson to try and use him as much as possible in the next few months, and give Nani a chance to demonstrate why he should stay at the club.

Manchester United have a lot of talented attackers, and with Zaha joining Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, they would not be short of wingers if Nani left, especially as Ferguson has often played Kagawa and Welbeck in wide positions as well.

However of all of these players, Nani has perhaps demonstrated the greatest ability to turn a match singlehandedly when he is on his game, and that is a talent that all teams would be wary of letting go.

With plenty of vital games coming thick and fast for Manchester United, they will need to use their ample squad carefully, and having Nani available and in decent form gives them a totally different option to most of the rest of their side.

His career in England might be in the balance, but Nani showed against Reading he has plenty to offer this season, and United should make sure they use the Portuguese winger more often in the next few months.

image: © gordonflood.com

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