Monday 3 August 2015

Rafael to have Lyon medical ahead of transfer

United's busy summer of transfers- both in and out of Old Trafford- looks set to continue as Brazilian full-back Rafael Da Silva arrived in France for a medical with Ligue 1 side Lyon ahead of a £2 million transfer. 

The out of favour 25 year old joined the Reds in 2008 along with twin brother Fabio and became the youngest player to clock up 100 appearances for United but, with Antonio Valencia and new addition Matteo Darmian expected to compete for the right back slot this season, Rafael's time at United is seemingly at an end.

A passionate, committed and energetic player, Rafael rapidly endeared himself to United fans for his all-action style and never gave less that 100% to the cause and, after the retirement of Red legend Gary Neville, Rafa developed into our first choice right-back under the tutelage of Sir Alex. 

What we can surely say in the case of Rafael is that there are two dominant prevailing attitudes.
One is that he was one of the last remaining players who actually cared about the club; the other was that his admirable affection for United could not redeem- and often contributed to- his status as an overemotional defensive liability. 

 It was this aspect of his game, in contrast to Valencia's steady reliability- that saw him drop down the pecking order under LVG.
Despite being occasionally prone to a clumsy booking, he more than played his part in United's golden era under SAF, notably with crackerjack strikes at Anfield and Loftus Road in the 2012/13 season as the Reds won a 20th league title. 

In contrast to the transfer of Angel Di Maria (I'm sure I am in the majority when I say I am glad to see him go), it is disappointing to see the likeable Brazilian move on but with one year left on his contract and with the player no longer in the manager's plan, it makes sense him for leave.

On his day Rafael was a superb player, and his willingness to bomb forward on the overlap, coupled with his insatiable energy, desire, and unstinting loyalty (he played under three managers at OT across eight seasons at the club) made him a popular figure at the club. 

In total Da Silva played 170 times for United, scoring five goals and winning three Premier League titles, the League Cup, Club World Cup and three Community Shields.

Everyone at United Faithful would like to wish Rafael all the best at his new club Lyon. 

Rafael (right) lines up for the Reds alongside twin brother Fabio (now at Cardiff) 

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