On Monday night Orlando City acquired a star that could be the answer to all their problems and that could make them a real threat in the MLS. Former Manchester United winger Nani has become the most recent Red Devil and star to join the MLS.
He has joined The Lions as a designated player. Nani has joined Orlando on a free transfer from Sporting Lisbon. He is renowned for his skill and trickery which once upon a time put him on the level of the great Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nani has signed a three-year contract with the Lions and despite being 32 years of age he still appears to be competing at a high level. This will be the Portuguese winger’s sixth senior side he has played for in his career. Vice President of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi is excited about the move and had this to say, “Nani brings tremendous experience to our roster. He’s a dynamic winger with quality abilities to move and cross the ball, impact games and lead the offensive play.” Orlando have been in desperate need of a star player and have been looking since the start of last season. The Lions thought they had the answer when they signed Columbus Crew’s Justin Meram, who was traded for $1.05 million. But he never took off and struggled, he moved back to Columbus midseason.
Nani is currently in form so he adds a new dynamic and style of play to Orlando’s attack. Although his arrival does raise the questions about who is going to fit in where, Orlando coach James O’Connor has used four preseason scrimmages where he played three centerbacks and moved the team around to see what his best possible first team would be. Before making the move to Orlando Nani had scored 7 goals along with getting 4 assists for Sporting. Across all competitions he had 9 goals and 7 assists in just 28 appearances.
The former Portugal Star is a phenomenon who has had an impressive career. Between 2007 and 2014 he made 230 appearances for Manchester United. In that time, he managed to score 40 goals and made 73 assists. He made 147 Premier League appearances where he scored 25 goals and got 56 assists. Nani’s biggest achievements would have to be when he won the Champions League with United against Chelsea and when he helped Portugal to win the 2016 UEFA European Championship against France.
Orlando City already have the maximum amount of designated players allowed in Dwyer, Josue Colman and Sacha Kljestan. One of them will have to be made into a TAM player in order to free a place for Nani. Orlando cannot afford to not make a spot for him as he will become a huge part of their team. If Nani shows even a glimpse of the layer he once was there will be no doubt that he could help Orlando improve immensely this season.