I was surprised when I saw Nani on the team sheet to play West Ham. I was equally taken aback when Sir Alex Ferguson recently said that the Portuguese still had a future at the club and he would certainly not be sold anytime soon.
Like a lot of United fans, I genuinely thought that Nani had misplaced his last pass, and overhit his final cross in England. The boss publicly (and correctly) berated him for losing the ball in the dying moments of a League Cup match against Chelsea in October that led to us conceding a stoppage time penalty equaliser.
Coupled with some truly horrendous performances in September against Galatasaray (including having a tame penalty saved) and a listless 45 minutes at Anfield a few days later, it looked like Nani's day were numbered. But now, a reprieve may be on the way.
Antonio Valencia is out of sorts and none of our strikers ever look truly comfortable out on the wing so Nani may get just get another run at making a success of himself in England
Bar a period of time from January 2010 to February 2011, he has never truly asserted himself as a regular in the side. Many admired him greatly for putting together such a strong run of form when, like now, it appeared his time at United was over.
That bodes well for him. Resilience is a required character trait that runs through the DNA of Manchester United under Ferguson. But those bursts of form have been too infrequent. He has made his mark on big matches; a goal in a 3-1 at the Emirates, the opener in a Manchester Derby, 2 stunning goals including the most beautiful back heel against Bayern Munich and most recently what appeared to be a seminal moment in his career when he was Portugal's best player the night they beat Holland 2-1 in Euro 2012.
Nani is without doubt one of the most gifted players at Carrington. He can do anything he wants with the ball and I would argue he has more raw talent than Ashley Young and Valencia combined: he just needs to use it.
If he does, and he works harder than ever before, the cliche 'like a new signing' will never be truer as Nani could be the catalyst for another historic season. Let's hope he can.