Nani thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is right to keep moving Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial around the Manchester United forward line.
Rashford and Martial – along with Mason Greenwood – led United’s attack to huge success towards the end of last season.
Veteran Edinson Cavani has entered the fold this year amid debate over which of United’s younger forwards will become the next number nine.
Nani, who was a Champions League winner with United, thinks the modern player can move positions regularly much more easily, even if it is not always ideal.
He thinks Solskjaer is following the methods of Alex Ferguson in selecting teams with the weaknesses of United’s opponents in mind.
Nani told Stats Perform News: “We saw so many games they played together and they were successful, so yeah [Martial and Rashford can play in the same team].
“Sometimes when you change positions, game to game it can cause a little bit of impact from your game.
“But yet this is something you have to train and prepare on every week with a coach and you have to be able to understand the game.
“You have to know what the purpose of the session was and what the manager wants for that game.
“I think now the capacity of the players, the new generation, they are able to play in different positions at the front.
“So Rashford can shoot with the left, with the right – he has skills, there is no problem for him to play in different positions.
“I think that the manager is doing great because he’s reading the next game.
“So there are some games you can better use Martial central, and some you can use him better on the left wing and that’s what I’ve been seeing the coach doing.
4/5 – Of the five Premier League players to have played the most minutes in all competitions in 2020-21, four play for Manchester United (Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Rashford, Fernandes). Fatigue? pic.twitter.com/jbONmdjuKV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 4, 2021
“And it’s true when I used to play for Man United, Alex Ferguson was reading the opponent.
“So who is going to play on the right side? Who is better to challenge him is he slow? Do we need a player with more speed or more strength? It depends on what the game needs.”
United have drawn three consecutive games 0-0 for the first time since October 2015.
While he is impressed with Rashford in general this season, Nani has highlighted an area for potential improvement that could get United out of their slump.
“Age gives you more experience, the more you see, you learn more with the more games you get,” added Nani when he was asked about Rashford.
“But we know what he is capable of – he has energy, he has skills, he has goals [but] sometimes he just [needs] the desire to want to be more involved in the game.
“[He needs to] want the ball more, want to run more will his all, lose more energy in the game, instead of saving himself to the end because trying to save the energy to end up the game, sometimes you lose opportunity to make your goal or your assist when the result is already done.
“So I think he can use his strength more during the game, it will make much more difference to his game.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 4, 2021
Martial, meanwhile, has struggled to follow up his strong 2019-20 season, when he racked up a career-high 17 Premier League goals.
The France international, who is facing a race against time to be fit in time to face Manchester City in Sunday’s derby, has four goals and three assists from 21 league appearances this time around.
Nani feels a return to form is needed quickly, adding: “You know Martial has shown already he has so much potential.
“He has goals, he is strong, he is fast, he has skills. He is a player who has shown he can do much more, so we are used to seeing much more.
“At this moment he is not at his best. He can produce much more for the team.
“I don’t know what happened with the player, probably he had some injuries or he is not so confident as before.
“But he needs to get back to his best as quickly as possible because the team need him.
“And he needs to start scoring his goals and perform the way he used to play because he will help the team a lot.”
While their struggles in front of goal have been a problem – and a sixth 0-0 draw tied their club record for a Premier League season – the Palace draw did see United hit a notable landmark.
They are the first team since Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04 to remain unbeaten for their first 14 away games of a top-flight campaign.