First team winger Luis Nani has joined Turkish outfit Fenerbahce for a reported £4.25m on a three year deal.
The Portuguese international joined United back in the summer of 2007 for around £17m from Sporting Lisbon, going on to make over 200 appearances for the club, scoring 40 goals.
After seemingly living in the shadow of fellow compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani’s first 100 appearances for the Red Devils stacked up to surpass those of Ronaldo’s first 100. Nani played more minutes, scored the same goals (19), recorded 21 more assists and created 78 more chances than Ronaldo had.
Ronaldo’s departure to Real Madrid in 2009 allowed Nani to come to the forefront of United’s wing-play, and he excelled in the 2009/10 season and also the first half of the following season.
A dip in form was then rectified in the opening stages of the 2011/12 season, which included a mesmerising individual display in United’s 3-2 comeback win over neighbours City in the 2011 Community Shield, as well as goals against Arsenal and Chelsea at Old Trafford and away at Stoke City before October ended.
However, since then, his form and favour amongst supporters decreased, until a shock five year deal handed to him by David Moyes in September 2013 surprised many but was seemingly awarded to give him a second chance at Old Trafford.
Sadly, this wasn’t the case, with the winger unable to make an impact before being shipped out on loan to his former club Sporting Lisbon last season.
He prospered there, with some tipping him to feature in Louis van Gaal’s plans for the upcoming season; but with the arrival of Memphis Depay, rejuvenation of Ashley Young, potential of Adnan Januzaj and expectancy of Angel Di Maria, Nani would have found it difficult to get anywhere near the kind of game time he would have liked.
A huge talent on his day, but too inconsistent in his performances, the time for Nani to move on has become a reality, and we wish him all the best with his future career.