The Manchester United midfield requires more than a passing glance this season. While Luis Nani has been a virtuoso in the midfield and top of the heap for fantasy managers with a few extra $ to spend – the health, form, and newest potential arrivals all threaten to strengthen United but weaken your fantasy side.
United go into next year having seen Nani get the full 90′ only 4 times in the final 12 matches. He was memorably left on the substitutes bench to start the Champions League Final, and he failed to score or assist on a goal over the final 6 matches (Official Premier League game stats). If he stays with United, and there’s little evidence currently that he’s moving, he will have to compete with Antonio Valencia and the ageless Ryan Giggs for minutes. While Nani was seeing less pitch-time Valencia got the full 90′ 5 times in the final 9 matches and the Champions League Final.
Nani has already seen the arrival of one direct competitor with Ashley Young’s transfer from Aston Villa. With Young in the fold the Manchester midfield has 4 midfielders who play best deployed to the wing and who specialize in providing service to the talented trio of strikers. Last season Young was 9th among midfielders in the OPL game, just one assist behind his former teammate Downing. While Nani lead the Prem in assists with 18, Young contributed 11 to a team that scored barely half of United’s return. With additional competition not only for playing time, but also in the attacking half of the pitch – Nani can already be expected to see a decline in his fantasy performance. Read the rest of this entry »