Manchester United could have had €24m winger - Now he does this...

Benfica

Nicolas Gaitan showed just why Manchester United wanted him with a stunning Europa League strike.

Nicolas Gaitan scored an impressive Europa League free-kick last night, showing just why Manchester United were strongly linked with signing him.

The Telegraph even reported two years ago: "Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign the Benfica midfielder Nicolás Gaitán with both Fabio da Silva and Federico Macheda moving to the Portuguese club as part of the terms."

For whichever reason, financial or sporting, Sir Alex Ferguson decided not to push ahead with the transfer, and Gaitan continues to prove him wrong.

While Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia continue to frustrate on the wings for the Red Devils, Gaitan impresses routinely for Benfica.

The 26-year-old has four goals and six assists this season, and the free-kick against Greek side PAOK was the best of the lot.

The chipped effort has even been described by radio station RMC as a Panenka free-kick, in honour of the Czech striker whose penalty efforts are routinely mimicked nowadays. 

A touch of ingenuity in a big-game scenario that quite frankly it's impossible to see Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia thinking of let alone pulling off.

image: © Crystian Cruz

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