Manchester United boosted by Rafael’s return to full fitness

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United will have Rafael available for selection against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday after the Brazilian revealed that he had returned to fitness.

Rafael responded to a fan on his official Instagram who asked when he was going to return to fitness by simply stating ‘I’m fit mate’.

The 23-year-old’s return to fitness couldn’t come any sooner as Chris Smalling has struggled at times in his unnatural role as a make shift right back in the absence of Rafael, none more so than against Cardiff at the weekend where his unnecessary foul led to their late equaliser.

For all the strength of United’s squad, we don’t have adequate cover for when Rafael is injured. Fabio showed his worth against Crystal Palace in that role but David Moyes has frozen him out since which suggests he doesn’t trust the other twin enough.

Rafael has had a very stop start season and has already been injured twice but it is still only November. There is plenty of time for him to get back into rhythm and United desperately need some stability again at right-back.

Whether his first appearance back from injury is this week remains to be seen given that we have two tough away games but Moyes may well be tempted to put him back in the deep end because, without him, we’re nowhere near as strong at the back.

Alternatively, maybe he was just complimenting his chiselled good looks like Nani did.

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