Rafael has been ruled out of Manchester United’s games this week against Real Sociedad and Arsenal with ankle ligament damage The Telegraph has confirmed.
The 23-year-old was taken off at half time against Fulham at the weekend after rolling on his ankle and it looks like we will be without the Brazilian for at least the next couple of games.
It is a huge blow given how weak United have looked at right back without Rafael. For all his talent, Chris Smalling simply isn’t a right back and it has been a weak point of our side with no natural back up to Rafael.
United’s medical staff have reportedly not ruled Rafael out of the Arsenal game at the weekend but even if he returns in time, it would be a risk to play him against a confident Arsenal side.
If he doesn’t play, Moyes will be faced with a real problem at right back but he could use either Fabio or Antonio Valencia there to good effect.
Fabio’s performance against Crystal Palace showed he is more than capable of playing at right back while Valencia has been a makeshift right back on plenty of occasions over the past two years at Old Trafford.
Rafael hasn’t had much luck with injuries this year. He had only just returned from a hamstring problem he picked up in the Community Shield and now faces another spell on the sidelines. Last year, he was United’s most improved player and we have missed his buccaneering runs on the right in his absence.