Here’s an interesting question: who would you rather have in your squad: Manchester United’s Nani or Tottenham’s Gareth Bale? Both are wingers experiencing their best seasons yet for their prospective clubs. Both have some claim for Player of the Season (though I would suggest neither deserve it) and both have their best years ahead of them. I don’t think this is an easy decision.
Gareth Bale has been at Tottenham since 2007, but only really rose to prominence over the course of the last couple of seasons. This season, he’s impressed in particular because his performances have come against the likes of Inter Milan and Arsenal – big, heart-on-sleeve performances when fans want to see it most. His skill on the ball, his pace and his accurate finishing have seen him become one of the most sought after players in Europe.
Nani is another player who has developed at an astonishing rate over the course of the last season. Where he had previously been considered a poor-man’s Ronaldo, he has slowly developed into one of the most important players in Manchester United’s midfield. The fact that he’s the Premier League’s top assist-provider speaks for itself. When he adds goals to his game, he’s going to be a real force.
Both are clearly fantastic players, but if you had to pick one, who would it be?
I’m going to say something that may not go down well amongst Spurs fans. I rate Gareth Bale very highly, but I have to say that I think his stature and his ability have been overrated by the British Press following his two great games against Inter. In terms of importance to Tottenham, I’d say that Luka Modric is much more valuable than Bale.
He’s also a little injury-prone and that has a knock-on effect of disrupting the rhythm of his performances, though this is something that will hopefully clear up over time. The fact, is Gareth Bale plays at such a high-intensity, so full on and with such passion that I’m not surprised he picks up the odd injury or three a season.
Nani, like Bale, is a defender’s nightmare – he can go on either foot and has an enviable amount of technique and creativity to go with all his flair. It’s Nani’s creative spirit that tips the scales in his favour for me. Behind all the flair and the play-acting, Nani is a real player and he’s going to keep getting better.
Statistics only tell half the story – of that I’m well aware. But this season Nani has a 25 goals and assists, whilst Gareth Bale has only 8. For all the hype that surrounds Bale, it’s Nani that provides end-product on a weekly basis.
That’s why I’d have Nani in my squad over Gareth Bale. Over to you – what’s your take?
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