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Nani admits he's starting to show worth at United

Nani is convinced that Manchester United are starting to see his true value.

As the January transfer window approached last term, it seemed the Portugal winger was destined to call time on his Old Trafford career.

Although there had been flashes of the talent that persuaded Alex Ferguson to link Nani with his old Sporting Lisbon team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, the 23-year-old was too often a major let down for the Red Devils.

But almost from nowhere, Nani turned into a terror and ended the season as one of United's key men.

Missing the World Cup due to a dislocated shoulder may have been a personal setback, but United are reaping the benefits as Nani has picked up where he left off with an impressive pre-season campaign.

And, ahead of Sunday's Community Shield showdown with Chelsea, Nani is revelling in his newly acquired status.

"I feel more confident in this club," he said. "I realise where I am and I know I am doing well.

"I am helping my team win games and important points, and now I know I am important for my team.

"Everyone is excited with me because they didn't know if I could be the player everyone expected. Now everyone starts to believe I can be a good player."

He knows the hard work must continue, though, because he feels there is still plenty in his locker still to be discovered.

"People saw a different player last season because I worked hard every day. I improved a lot but there is a lot to learn yet and I hope to start this season better than the last."

Michael Carrick will be missing from the Chelsea clash with an ankle injury picked up in the win over an Airtricity League XI in Dublin, but Ferguson still has options, including new striker Javier Hernandez.