Rooney and Nani please boss

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney and Nani have blossomed into the players Manchester United always hoped they would be.

The duo have been in scintillating form of late, helping the Red Devils remain on course for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Rooney is arguably Europe's most in-form frontman at the moment, with the England international having smashed through the 20-goal barrier for the season.

He is beginning to show the kind of consistency needed to be considered as one of the world's best players, and has almost single-handedly carried United at times.

Ferguson admits that at 24, Rooney is now fulfilling his early promise, with the Red Devils boss full of praise for his talismanic hit-man.

"Unbelievable performances," he told Sky Sports News when asked about Rooney's recent showings.

"Hopefully we are now seeing him mature into the centre-forward we always thought he would be.

"Young players develop in stages. I said last season that he was producing bursts here and there, scoring for four or five games and then having dry spells.

"But that's what you expect from maturity. I think we are now seeing a more mature player."

Ferguson is also delighted to see Nani finally demonstrating what he is capable of, after a difficult time in England for the Portuguese winger.

The 23-year-old has taken time to settle at Old Trafford, but has emerged from his shell in spectacular style this season and now appears capable of filling the void created by the departure of his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

"In the case of Nani, like Rooney, I think we are seeing a player who is maturing," said Ferguson.

"He's a young lad who has come in from a different country and he has taken more time than some of the others to settle. But that sometimes happens.

"Sometimes you bring a player in from another country and they settle straight away, but with Nani you can see his progression over the last few games because he has been outstanding."

He added: "It's got nothing to do with Cristiano, it's an individual thing. He is maturing and he has got the appreciation from his team-mates, which is helping him.

"As a kid he always had great talent but he has taken time to settle into the country."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 5 February 2010