You could have been forgiven for thinking Rafael Da Silva was the best right-back in English football as Manchester United strolled to their 20th Premier League title a mere 18 months ago.
Rafael was at his marauding best going forward and appeared to cut out the rash decisions that had surrounded his game.
Gone were the mistakes that saw him sent off against Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 2010, Rafael had gone from a boy to a man.
But the Brazilian right-back regressed as much as anyone during David Moyes’ year in charge at Old Trafford.
Rumours soon arose that Moyes didn’t rate the defender and would look to move him on in the summer but in the past few weeks Rafael has shown true character in bouncing back from a momentary return to his 2010-self against Leicester City which saw him concede an unnecessary penalty and a ripple that caused United to fall apart from 3-1 up.
Against West Ham, it took Rafael less than ten minutes to set up the opening goal for Wayne Rooney and his cross against Everton a week later eventually lead to Angel Di Maria opening the scoring for the home side.
It’s a welcome return to form for another player who could have been part of the cull this summer.
More rumours surfaced that, despite Moyes’ departure, Louis van Gaal would also look to move Rafael on and if that was indeed the case, he is certainly doing his best to prove his new boss wrong.
Rafael wears his heart on his sleeve and he loves United which is what makes him such an endearing character, so it really is fantastic to see him back his 2012/13 self having been so unlucky with injuries in recent times.