Reports from Portugese media are linking Arsenal with Manchester United’s Portuguese winger Nani. It is claimed that Arsenal are willing to part with nine million pounds for the services of the Cape Verde born winger.
Arsenal has been linked with the 27 year old winger in previous transfer windows and it is obvious that Wenger is an admirer of the former Sporting Lisbon player. However, is there a chance of this transfer ever happening? – Very much doubtful.
It is an interesting rumour. At his best Nani is an ideal combination of pace, power, skill allied with a great finish and goals. Arsenal has been victims of Nani’s brilliance before. Anyone that witnessed his destruction of Gael cliché at the Emirates in a 3-1 defeat in January 2010 can testify to Nani’s brilliance at his best.
However the problem is that Nani at his best is a fast receding memory. He has made only 22 appearances for Manchester United in the past 2 seasons scoring 1 goal and making 2 assists. A combination of injuries and frustrating decision making has seen his playing time restricted.
A more apt appraisal of where Nani is currently at can be seen in Portugal’s match against the USA at the just concluded World Cup. An early goal was followed by misplaced cross after misplaced cross interspersed with wild shooting. He was neutralized by a converted full back in DaMarcus Beasley. Portugal’s equalizer came when Ronaldo switched to that flank and provided a quality cross that led to the equalizer.
This is added to the fact that Arsenal is currently well stocked in both wing forward positions. Arsenal has options in Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Santi Carzola. Nani does not offer anything that these guys don’t offer and it must be mentioned that he will be 28 in November so he is not exactly a promising youngster whose flaws can be ironed out.
Arsenal have more pressing needs; such as the signing of a defensive midfielder and possibly an extra centre back than spending money trying to revive a fading career. Arsene Wenger himself has said there is no need to reinforce the forward positions so I don’t think there is more to the rumour.