"He came home" - Sporting Lisbon talks up Manchester United loanee ahead of Chelsea clash


Sporting Lisbon boss Marco Silva says that winger Nani has 'come home' having returned to his former club on loan from Manchester United.

Sporting Lisbon take on Chelsea at home in the Champions League on Tuesday night, needing a win after drawing 1-1 with Slovenian side Maribor in the first group game. Winger Nani scored his first goal since returning to the club against Maribor, and they will need him in top form to spring a surprise against the Blues.

Nani, now 27, joined Manchester United back in 2007, with then-Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson forking out €25.5m (£20m) to bring him to Old Trafford having impressed with Sporting. 11 goals in 76 games for the Portuguese giants had fans hoping that Nani would follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, who also came from Sporting Lisbon.

Yet, as we know, the two couldn't have gone in more different directions. Ronaldo is now one of the top players in the world whilst Nani's career at Old Trafford fizzled out despite showing flashes of brilliance, and he was sent back to Sporting Lisbon on loan for the season in the deal that saw Argentine defender Marcos Rojo leave Portugal for Old Trafford.

Now looking to make an impact in his second spell at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Nani has Chelsea in his sights ahead of Tuesday's clash - and manager Marco Silva says that the winger has 'come home', with his confidence coming back following a disappointing time under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

"He came home," Silva said. "Sporting was his previous club. He knows his team-mates. This is the best choice he could've made. The confidence of the team is growing collectively. That is what we must focus on."

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