Among all of Sir Alex Ferguson’s title winning teams, his last won is widely regarded as the weakest. He was lauded all over for seemingly guiding a team with limited ability to the title in his final year in charge. The argument gather further weight altogether when David Moyes slumped to seventh with more or less the same group of players.
The title was achieved courtesy of a scintillating season from United’s newest recruit Robin Van Persie.The Dutchman was on fire that season and won several vital points for United in their charge to the title.
However, that season saw the emergence of another player who took the league by storm with a series of commanding performances which garnered him a reputation as one of the best young defenders in the world. Brazilian full back Rafael Da Silva, just 23 at the time, was one of the best and most consistent performers for the Red Devils that season.
Seen as the long term successor to former United stalwart Gary Neville back then , Rafael has since endured a couple of tough seasons due to loss of form and fitness , and from being touted as the club’s future in defence has gone to being an unwanted piece of the puzzle under Louis Van Gaal.
With United having confirmed the arrival of 25-year-old Italian full back Matteo Darmian from Torino, Rafael is seemingly on his way out of the club , after claims from his agent that the Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal made it clear the Brazilian isn’t part of his plans moving forward, as reported in the Daily Express.
His agent Cassiano Pereira also confirmed that with Italian powerhouse Roma interested , the defender is keenly considering the option for a move to Italy. Since Rafael has a Portuguese passport, a move over to Rome makes sense as the player will not be facing problems related to the grant of a work permit.
With just 10 appearances in the league for the club last season , Rafael has clearly fallen out of favour at the club and the fact that he is edging closer to a move won’t come as a surprise to anyone at the club. Pereira also confirmed that the 25-year-old does want to leave United and is involved in talks with more than one club.
He was quoted as saying:
“Roma would be more than a good option for him and we’d be more than happy to talk to the club. Italy would be a great opportunity, especially considering he has a Portuguese passport.”
Speaking about the defender’s current situation at Old Trafford , he stated :
“His contract with Manchester United expires in June 2016 and Louis van Gaal already said he’s not part of the plan, so the player wants to leave and we’re talking to more than one club.”
Interest from Fiorentina has also been mentioned in some quarters , and speaking about the prospect of his client joining the Viola, Pereira said :
“Fiorentina? That is certainly also another club we’d like. If they call, then we’ll happily talk to them. The player is very interested in playing in Italy.”
At 25, Rafael perhaps has his best days ahead of him. United fans clearly loved him and the love was equally reciprocated. However , injuries and bad luck have seriously hampered his development and he could benefit from a fresh start.