Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have signed the next Nani

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have signed the next Nani in Daniel James. There are plenty of parallels between the two, despite their different nationalities. James arrived from Swansea in the summer transfer window but has enjoyed a solid first campaign at Old Trafford, producing six assists in the Premier League.

Back in 2007, Manchester United chose to sign Nani from Sporting Lisbon installed with the hope he could be another Cristiano Ronaldo.

And while the Portugal international didn’t emulate his compatriot, he did play a vital role in the club winning four Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.

On his day, Nani could be unplayable.

Games against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Manchester City in the Community Shield and a Premier League clash against Tottenham all spring to mind.

But his inconsistency was what stopped him from scaling the same heights as Ronaldo, somebody he looked up to during his stint at Old Trafford.

And James’ first season at United so far suggests he’s more of a Nani than a Ronaldo at this moment in time.

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Like the Portugal international, he made a breathtaking start to life at the Theatre of Dreams upon touching down.

James scored on his debut, finding the net in a stirring 4-0 victory over Chelsea that got Old Trafford excited about what would lie ahead.

Nani also broke his United duck early into his time at the club, scoring a cracker as Tottenham were beaten 1-0.

James would go on to score twice more for his new team from three more matches against Crystal Palace and Southampton respectively.

But, like Nani, he’s blow hot and cold in the time since.

He’s become infuriating to watch at times. With his rapid pace, he’s always going to pose threats to opposition defences.

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But he suffers from a lack of end product – which was often Nani’s problem throughout his time at the club.

James is also having to operate while in the shadow of somebody else: Jadon Sancho.

United actually wanted to sign the Borussia Dortmund star 12 months ago, only to learn their failure to qualify for the Champions League had damaged their cause.

So they ended up luring James to Old Trafford from Swansea instead.

Nani often had to put up with the Ronaldo comparisons, particularly throughout their time at the club together.


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But when the Juventus star departed for Real Madrid in 2009, it actually sparked a significant upturn in form and fortune for the winger.

James’ Old Trafford career has been positive. There have been some sublime moments, like the goal he scored against Southampton.

However, it’s clear from his performances so far that he’s very much a work in progress, rather than finished article.

More a Nani than a Ronaldo.

But the good news is there’s time for that to change. And United fans should be excited about what the future holds for the 22-year-old.

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