Nani’s new contract – inspired or desperation?

Manchester United have ended speculation over the Portuguese winger’s future by handing him a new five-year deal at Old Trafford.

One benefit of changing managers is that it gives the entire playing squad an opportunity to impress the new man and fringe or unflavoured players a chance to stake a claim for first-team inclusion. One player that looked sure to leave Manchester United over the summer was Nani, but with David Moyes now at the Old Trafford helm the winger has been given a new lease of life.

A new five-year contract for the tricky attacker has ended speculation that a move away from the Premier League champions was on the cards. David Moyes has declared that he is delighted that the winger will be staying in Manchester.

"I'm really pleased Nani has re-signed for the next five years," the Scot declared. "He has great ability and experience and beyond his 26 years.”

The player himself has been vocal over his happiness to stay at the club, and is hopeful of playing a more substantial role in the United starting XI this season.

"Playing at United has been a fantastic experience for me," he said.

"When I came to the club, I never imagined the success we have enjoyed. Training every day with top players who want to win trophies every year is a great motivation to me.

"I'm very happy that the new manager has shown this faith in me and I'm looking forward to helping the team compete for more honours this season."

Nani has delighted and frustrated the Old Trafford faithful in equal measures since moving to England in May 2007. Certainly capable of putting in a match-winning performance, dazzling displays of skill and hitting the back of the net, the positive traits that have defined his game are not on show on a regular-enough basis.

The Portugal international is a confidence player and the new deal, along with Moyes’ words of praise, will help the attacker to feel valued at the club again, after only making 11 Premier League appearances last term.

With United failing to score in their last two games against Chelsea and Liverpool, and the disappointment of not bringing in a new attacking midfield playmaker, a fully-fit and firing Nani could well be an advantageous wildcard for Moyes and the club. His ability to do something unexpected or out of the ordinary could well be the spark the side needs to unlock defences.

The other players in contention for a starting berth on the Red Devils’ wings have failed to deliver on their promise also over the last 12 months, and as such Nani could well be a regular for the side if he is given a chance to start, and impress, soon.

There is a counter-argument that the player has been at the club for five seasons and the continuation to progress with a player that has had a noticeable dip in form over the last 12 months sustains mediocrity. Nani certainly has the potential to be a valuable asset for the club but needs to add consistency to his occasional shows of brilliance.

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