Man Utd have ‘another Nani’ on their hands but a ‘dilemma’ must be solved


Louis Saha believes Manchester United have another Nani in Marcus Rashford as the talented forward’s struggle for consistency rumbles on. Despite his wonder goal in last Sunday’s 3-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, Rashford continues to be the subject of criticism for his regression this season.

The 26-year-old’s sensational strike at the Etihad Stadium was just his sixth goal of the campaign and followed a nothing-off-limits interview with The Players’ Tribune, in which he aimed fire at his doubters.

Rashford was expected to kick on and become the face of Erik ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford this term after netting a career-best 30-goal tally throughout 2022/23.

But he has struggled for form and has been involved in off-field controversy, which has strained his relationship with some sections of the fanbase.

Saha was at United when Nani arrived in 2007 and played with the Portuguese winger for two seasons. The latter went on to enjoy a decorated eight-year spell before leaving in 2015.

Recently addressing Rashford’s forgettable season, Saha drew comparisons with Nani, who was capable of performing magic on the pitch but was often questioned about his decision-making.

“He [Rashford] can be asked to play on the left, the right or down the middle, but it doesn’t matter when you have that much quality. I always look at the differences between Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo,” Saha told Paddy Power.

“They’re both very similar players in terms of quality, and Nani could do pretty much everything, including defending and helping the team. He had a big engine.

“But when you have the quality to go forwards and dribble and pass and score, it’s all about making the right decision at the right moment, and that’s hard.”

The Frenchman believes Rashford, like Nani, has something missing in his game, suggesting that he could improve his desire to win balls and make things happen for himself.

He added: “Marcus Rashford has the same dilemma as Nani did because they can do pretty much everything, but something is missing.

“Cristiano has dedicated his game to finishing and increasing the number of situations he can get goals for himself or his teammates, and that’s what is missing from Rashford.

“The fans recognise it too and say, ‘Why hasn’t he committed there?’ and these types of questions shouldn’t be asked of him.

“He has to commit and give 100 per cent every time, and if that means he gets subbed after 60 or 70 minutes, it’s fine if he’s given everything.”

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